Chuck Cooper recently released a book of poetry and has generously allowed me to share a poem with my readers. I hope you enjoy it. If you would like to purchase a copy, it is available on Amazon.
The sun shown on a flat river,
No ripples, no waves, no insects, no fish
Just placid, stolid water sitting,
Maybe even pooling.
There was no way to tell,
If the water came or went.
It was a river to be sure,
It had both in and outlets,
Slipping a serenade beneath the surface,
Sublime and meandering.
On a journey home,
But to the casual observer, nothing was betrayed.
Life can be lived this way, when it is lived well.
Sacrifice can be sublime with time,
In truth, in life,
Without pomp, circumstance, or strife
A simple expression of values held deep.
Leaders lead. Barkers screech.
Those who do, do,
Not for credit from men,
But perhaps the love of men.
For the love and expression
Of a person’s own values
Is truly all there is,
And that is a life of sacrifice:
To trade a piece of you, in time, thoughts, and talent,
Elbow grease, even work.
All those things you have to trade,
For something that is good in your own eyes
And given freely, to see your values expressed
And no one can ask anyone for anymore.
Greater love there may well be,
But not in this world.
You, who have given of yourself
And asked a price,
Are engaged in trade, not sacrifice.
What is the cost of sacrifice?
If ever there were such a thing,
Such a day, or a night to give
What you could give, and then more.
Would it be worth the power of being,
Of knowing yourself to be,
Who you are?
Is there a cost to sacrifice,
If it is done well and true,
Away from the eyes
Of those who don’t know you?
What makes men great?
Is it sacrifice, virtue or values
To oneself or another?
Is it creation, that pinnacle of existence
That is so common and yet so divine.
Is creation even valued anymore?
What makes men great?
Is it achievement,
Or glory or humor, or a mask, that ability to be
Someone else, anyone else, in any situation?
Or is it simply to be oneself
Under placid waters
All these things as one
Slipping along, a life lived well.
Thomas Gray had words for you.
That you lived was enough;
That you lived well, was sublime.
All photos on the website are taken by Tammera Cooper and remain her property.