This is Poem #19 in my series of poem-responses to Life's Big Questions as posed by Simon Blackburn in his The Big Questions, Philosophy. Prof. Blackburn teaches at the University of Cambridge in England.
What does it mean to stay alive? Why stay alive, when dying is easier?
What have we discarded, cutting through tunnels
we must have plodded, to quarry from lives we
might have been accidentally given? What loves
have we found, what hearts have we lost? Layers
of clay, cracked stones, and silt could build us our
houses of hurts and ruptured dreams. Not a home.
But we take care to wake up to days we can shape,
to moments we could mould like delicate bowls
whence we share victual and drink for our hungry
and thirsty souls. When travel becomes a burden
of faithlessness or pain, we call each other out:
Be brave, hold on, take on the world if we must!
When these passageways fall dark, we walk on.
After all, our lives are not made of discarded days.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA
This poem was inspired by a poem written by Norfolk VA poet Luisa A. Igloria. "Time teaches a lighter tread: or/the body bound to gravity must shed/layer after layer. What progress is tracked, /comes only in the manner of what’s discarded: "---From “The Road of Imperfect Attentions” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa. 07-30-11