A Day Still Undone

Bente Hansen  bentehansenfineart.blogspot.com

Bente Hansen

A rainy night, a rainy morning
wind whistling in tree and chime
the low roar of a distant Navy jet
dawn outlining trees on ridge

What will day hold of mischief or mercy
of words angrily spoken or silent
Of children beaten or held
old men at dance or in free fall

To choose the right is easy
from the vantage of an observatory
To do the good that’s what is hard
for those who dare engage

The hours unfold as a test not
only for politicians and bankers
but for every single living thing
given the gift of a day still undone

“Another place! it’s enough to grieve me–
that old dream of going, of becoming a better man
just by getting up and going to a better place.” ~ Wendell Berry


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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7 Responses to A Day Still Undone

  1. Mish says:

    I have always been fascinated by the power that each one of us holds in changing the state of our society. This poem reminds me of that.


  2. Cheryl Ruffing says:

    You did a lovely job of evoking a sense of place, Peter. Your second stanza is intriguing. The “old men in dance or in free fall” is lovely; “Of children beaten or held” is not, but it makes a point and lasting impression. I like your focus on choices yet to be made, because that is really what life is all about it, isn’t it? Our intentions might be noble, but they don’t amount to a hill of beans if we don’t act on them, and we do that step by step, one small decision at a time. Further, good intentions can have disastrous consequences, and often do. As Gandalf in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” so eloquently put it: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” If we are people of integrity, we should always be choosing the right and doing the good, whether we’re faced with a child who needs love and guidance, with a stranger we have been given the opportunity to help, or with acting/voting on a social/political issue that will impact society and the freedom and safety of a populace for years to come.


  3. I think Gandalf the Wise has it right . . . As I think St Paul is right when he says, ‘The good that I would do I do not do; the evil I would not do is what I do. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death?’ Half of America subscribes to his next lines of orthodoxy; yet the fabric of American society is tattering at every seam. Who will speak to us of orthopraxy? I’m just a poor old poet on the verge of free`fall . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always look forward to your posts – art, poetry and quote in perfect harmony…


  5. so many lives to choose from – and each day can be a new one

    Liked by 1 person

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