Run For Your Life!

God’s creatures
Fill their lives
With speed;
They tarry not,
Nor skulk.
No quadruped
Or winged thing
May dawdle,
Loaf or sulk.
If lazy beavers
Puddled about
As they chewed down
Trees and swam,
They wouldn’t be
Busy beavers,
And they wouldn’t
Give a dam.
No eider duck
Is idle
Lest her chicks
Run wild.
No busy bee
Drifts aimlessly.
No mother
With a child
May dally, nap,
Or laze about.
Instinct cancels
Time to pout.
Instinct, sharper
Than a knife,
Tells all creatures,
“Run for you life!”
But WE
Have leisure
As a primary aim
Long before
Riches, power
Or fame,
Just to retire and
Loll around,
Enjoying a
Lethargy profound.
Leisure is a
Badge of merit,
A family value
We inherit.
“We’re put on Earth
To fart around,”
Kurt Vonnegut averred.
“Let no man tell you
Differently,” he
Happily assured.
Yet Kurt
Was a runner also,
The busiest
Of men.
Runner and Idler
Both consume
Their three score
Years and ten,
And neither sees
It coming
Nor apprehends
Its toll;
Neither speed
Nor dalliance
Can specify its goal,
A blindness
Better for us all
Than perfect clarity;
When the harm
Of years is on us,
‘Tis a blessing
NOT to see.
So dear Emily
Called it well,
“So soft,” she said,
“The evening fell
We felt how
Neighborly a thing
Was the invisible.”