What Is the Good Life?

Turn not your eyes, leaves though they be,
to dazzle or blaze. Live off not light but light
transformed, simple, eccentric, stoic in the sun.
Study the genitalia of plants. Learn the names
of birds by how they sing and what they eat.
Never forget how primates, armed with chipped
flint cudgels, delight picking off tasty
reproductive organs from inoffensive plants.
The flux of birds in flight may be the same
with us or without, but cruelty is ours, to wit
how casually we crush out insects, even
innocuous ones, then raise our eyes on high
to tangled veils of evaporating
jet contrails, photochemical as film.
Where we are most exposed when naked, we
sink roots, touching down like stalks in a vase.
What is the good life, if not just to have lived?
Trust gardeners in the sky not snip us in the bud!