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The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

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It seems that Charles Bukowski and I think along similar lines. You know what they say, “great minds … etc.” We’ve both picked the laughing heart as our “nom de plume”.

While I find Charles’s perspective provocative and engaging, our has more to do with creative and spiritual discovery, which is why I hope you won’t confuse the two of us. Just for the heck of it though, while we could in fact analyze the poem (and some folks have already done it), let’s take a look:

The Laughing Heart, by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

–Charles Bukowski

Here’s my line-per-line response:

who’s life is whose life? who the heck am I anyway?
yes, I try to club the dominant paradigm regularly, ‘cos I love to be of service.
yes, be on the watch, but most of all direct your gaze inwards
there are ways IN.
there is light there everywhere!
it’s an incredible and infinite amount of light
but you just have to look for it
be looking inwards, with eyes of gentle and compassionate self-love
people will offer you chances.
know these people and laugh with them as much as possible.
take these people with you on the journey, and kid around together.
you can beat death actually (well, cosmically),
but hey, more often, you can’t beat life–it’s an amazing thing.
and the more often you learn to BE it–that is, the light
the more you’ll know the light was already there, all along.
your life is a human life, a pretty darn light thing if you take a walk on the beach.
live, laugh, and love life while you have it–that way, you might know yourself
you are a miraculous soul
the world waits,
to get to know ‘ya.

–Errol Strider

Errol Strider smiling at you with a laughing heart kind of like Charles Bukowski but lighter

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