Bentlily - The Art of Noticing your Life


Recently, I discovered Samantha Reynolds' website, lieu of New Year's Resolutions, Samantha decided to choose a theme for 2011: "be present".To do this, she pledged to write one poem a day, and Bentlily was born.18 months later, it's still going. As Samantha explains on her website: "What was meant to be a one-year experiment has threaded its way into my being. I wouldn’t know how to stop now even if I wanted to."I've enjoyed reading Samantha's poems over the last week or so, and her work has made me appreciate just how useful poetry can be for reflecting on experience, and cultivating mindfulness in our day-to-day lives.One poem in particular touched me to the core earlier this week. It's about life, death, and moments in between. It takes three minutes to read, and whatever else is happening today, I promise that you won't regret making the time to experience this.

The opposite of life

 You might say sadnessis the opposite of happinessbut I say it is sulkingthat grey fit of determined misery.It was this face I wore yesterdaysour as old meatwhen our sunny beach daywas buried by an avalanche of crankinessa denouement of three wordsto make you shuddermissedhisnap.StillI am the adultI could have climbed outsat on the heap of our woundssurrenderedsang lullabies.I burrowed insteadsinking into the daypicking at my hardshiplike a scab.He slept eventuallyof courseand I got my swimmy glass of winebut I couldn’t stop thinking about the young womanI had heard about the other dayher body choking on cancershe said to her friendsdon’t miss mejust  promise meyou won’t missyour own life.So let this poemfly in the jaws of the windland at her feetmy shamefor turning my backon a dayshe would have given anythingto taste.

 What would your poem say today?