Are you Happy?





There’s just no accounting for happiness,

or the way it turns up like a prodigal

who comes back to the dust at your feet

having squandered a fortune far away.


And how can you not forgive?

You make a feast in honor of what

was lost, and take from its place the finest

garment, which you saved for an occasion

you could not imagine, and you weep night and day

to know that you were not abandoned,

that happiness saved its most extreme form

for you alone.


No, happiness is the uncle you never

knew about, who flies a single-engine plane

onto the grassy landing strip hitchhikes

into town, and inquires at every door

until he finds you asleep midafternoon

as you so often are during the unmerciful

hours of your despair.


It comes to the monk in his cell,

It comes to the woman sweeping the street

with a birch broom, to the child

whose mother has passed out from drink.

It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing

a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,

and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots

in the night.


It even comes to the boulder

in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,

to rain falling on the open sea,

to the wineglass, weary of holding wine. ย  —Jane Kenyon







Autumn at my house

Autumn at my house




Cleveland skyline from Huntington Beach.

Cleveland skyline from Huntington Beach.


6 thoughts on “Are you Happy?

  1. There’s just no accounting for it all…

  2. RoSy says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Your autumn garden looks beautiFALL ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I wonder sometimes, how do we determine happiness. I think I would like peace, peace in my home, peace in my mind, peace in my heart. With peace I think I could honestly say I was happy.

  4. This is a deep poem as we search for the ingredients of Happiness.. Loved your Home Barbara, and al those Autumn blooms… ๐Ÿ™‚ Many thanks for sharing this one ๐Ÿ™‚

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