Tag Archives: Look Up

Turn to the Gutter

100_1044Walking on a downtown Salt Lake City street during a seminar lunch break, I became aware of how my gaze tended to turn downward on the trash that had collected in the gutter.  The words “trash” and “gutter” are well-known and perhaps over-used metaphors for the vulgar and profane.  I wondered, with some private embarrassment, why I persisted in looking downward instead of lifting my gaze to the trees, birds, architecture, and sky.  I wrote this poem to recognize and resist the temptation to look downward during life, and to encourage myself and others to raise our sights and to focus on beauty, on love, and on kindness and other noble attributes.  The gutter and its trash will still be there, but we need pay them no mind.

TURN TO THE GUTTER

Birds sing a-wing
in the ocean-blue sky,
perch on arched windows
and brick parapets.
Trees waive and bow,
flowers show splendor.
But I:
I turn my gaze, and
miss it;
I turn to the gutter,
treasure
lies and tokens, and
miss it all.