Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 21/30: Practicing Joy

I ran into some of 'those' type of people today. You've met them--the ones who are never satisfied unless they're griping about something. The encounter inspired tonight's bit of writing for my poetry challenge. Here's poem #21:

Practicing Joy

When you practice,
you get better.
Everyone knows that, right?
And when you devote almost every
waking moment to the effort,
you'll get darned near perfect.
So tell me...
How come so many people
are practicing so hard
to be so...miserable?
They make sure every word
is a gripe
or a snipe.
They grab two-fisted onto mistakes,
and pounce immediately
on every single nit-picky wrong.
They cherry pick the awful from the news,
and for reinforcement
surround themselves with others
who are just as displeased
with the world as it is.
So much energy spent
on being so negative...
that after awhile it isn't an effort at all.
It's a very easy habit.
An unthinking one.
Life's...just a bitch.
Practice makes perfect,
and they are perfectly

I want to practice joy.
I want a life of blissful happiness
and serene, loving contentment.
Wouldn't anyone?
But to get there,
I need to be willing to put in the effort.
Because grumpy
can come all too easily.
No, not everything is all sunshine and roses...

but I can find five things
that make my eyes sparkle
every day.
I can find a real compliment
to give
to others...
and to myself as well.
I can pause to look at cloud wisps,
and take time to rub puppy bellies.
I can hug my sweeties.
Real hugs--none of that A-frame
pat on the back stuff.
I can take five minutes out of a busy schedule,
close my eyes
and savor what is just
then and there.
I can find a reason to laugh
that is not at somebody else's expense.
And I can turn off the danged news,
and choose
to surround myself with the kind of people
who can see the sheer
that wraps around us.

I can find moments of merriment
until joy is just
...second nature.

So...come practice with me?

Melissa McCollum

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