I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

1 April 2016

Not an April Fool

How afraid they were, the everybody,
that he’d be born on April Fool’s Day, but
he came more cleverly, one day early. Saved!

He grew into a most unpleasant man –
an abrasive irritant, yet unaware
just how and why he causes widespread rage.

The child he was could never get a joke.
When others laughed incomprehensibly,
he knew it must be him they laughed at … mocked. 

And then at last it seemed he woke to humour.
Years later, I discern it was not so.
He learnt to fake it – imitate, pretend.

He’s gained a kind of humour now, at last:
the ability to laugh at others' pain
or their humiliation – just as, once,

when he was small, he thought they laughed at his.
He has his share of folly, but no fun.
He cannot clown around, devoid of jest.

If only he had waited just one day!
How much happier might we all have been
if only, blessedly, he’d been born a Fool? 


Written for Poetry Month at 'imaginary garden with real toads': 1: April is for Fools and Poets

21 comments:

  1. This is so powerful! Especially enamored with your closing lines.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  2. What an excellent and discerning story in a portrait, Rosemary. very cleverly done.

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  3. I can see him, in this vivid description. Love the humour in wishing he had been born on April Fool's Day!

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  4. Gah, he thought they laughed at his. Really good, Rosemary. Way to kick it off!

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  5. A day early and a smile late...Love this!

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  6. "There's a fool born every day!" But not him.
    Mrs. Jim wouldn't marry me in Leap Year, we had to wait until it was over. Mom got terrible teasing from Dad about their marriage. (In the funny pages, Lil' Abner, during Leap Years the woman could propose to the men.) She didn't like to be teased about that, Mrs. Jim was afraid I would tease her also. So we waited.
    ..

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  7. Faking it in anything is never good. You nailed this.

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  8. So good, I almost feel sorry for him,,,he missed the right day :-)

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  9. A poem and a lesson to learn. I almost forgot I was reading a poem, I got so caught up in it. Very thought provoking.

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  10. How strange. (Do I dare go a bit political.) My hubby is addicted to Donald Trump deviations - for shock value. For some reason, I connect these poetic musings with the Trump facade. I'm bad. A great exploration of a dubious profile.

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    1. I didn't have Trump in mind, but I can understand why you might think so!

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  11. Was it Trump's birthday, then? Bad timing, if so. And I love your opening line, especially "the everybody."

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  12. I agree with you--for me silliness can be a virtue--foolishness to here--self-deprecation (and possibly humility and empathy too) well done, Rosemary. k.

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  13. Rosemary, without ever having met her, you have described my eldest sister to a T. She has bipolar and borderline personality disorder; always assumes people are laughing AT her, never gets the joke. Even when she is genuinely funny, she gets mad. This is incredible. Amy

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    1. Sad to say, this is a family member of mine, albeit one I no longer have anything to do with. He has narcissistic personality disorder, which I'm told is a form of borderline personality disorder, and may very well be bipolar.

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  14. I was thinking in a way of Trump too but naw, wrong specie of autism, this is the inability to read the innate smile, to find the shape of it within. Better born a fool than a beggar of laughter. Amen.

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  15. As I read this poem, am reminded of my abusive younger brother, who never understood me or my sense of humour. For he, always thought, I was getting a dig or two, at his expense. Doesn't help that he's narcissistic, either. Sadly, for my own mental and physical health, I have shut him out of my life, permanently.

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    1. I understand perfectly, having done the same with the person in my poem, for exactly the same reason.

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  16. This is heartbreaking...and it hits close to home..my husband, is a brilliant artist and kind man...yet, he is one that never gets jokes...or very rarely. Great poem, Rosemary.

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    1. I think kindness is the greatest virtue, and makes up for any other lack.

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  17. fools are born daily. (Waves hand) ~

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