Monday, April 03, 2017

NPM 2017 Day Three: A Jack Kerouac Poem

For National Poetry Month this year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exuded—empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love.

Pam had more forgive and forget in her soul than most people I know. Forgiveness is not something that comes easily to me (though it should), and even when I do forgive, it's hard for me to forget. Pam seemed to be able to do this so easily, and with such grace. The poem below reminds me of this quality of hers. It comes from a letter Jack Kerouac sent to his first wife more than 10 years after their marriage had been annulled.

The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks dont see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
making pancakes.

You can find this letter, as well as his poetry, criticism, Buddhist writings, letters and more in The Portable Jack Kerouac.

I'll leave you today with this parting shot.
Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace. – Leo Tolstoy
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you here again tomorrow.

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