Monday, February 23, 2009

CXXIII - A Cloistered Life


A Cloistered Life

I think I could live a cloistered life,
Secluded from the daily drama
Of gloom and woe and beastly strife
While enveloped in monastic karma.

A contemplative way to pass the time,
In an oasis of green and tinkling water,
And there to sit and craft some rhyme
About some other man’s naked daughter.

Well, that's what poet's do in retreat;
They address the finer things of life.
When cloistered from the man on the street
They can write epic poems to his wife.

But wait! What’s that I hear you say?
I’d have to sleep on planks of wood
And be up before the break of day?
Tell me, is this a “must” or just a “should”?

Well, I guess I could do it, if I must,
Though it seems an excessive price to pay
To live the peaceful life of the pure and just;
But surely it wouldn’t be everyday?

Of course, there is the small matter of God;
I don’t wish the monks to be offended
But to me the whole concept’s pretty odd.
Would it be all right if I just pretended?

The food is bread and a watery broth
And no-one starts until the UberMonk is seated.
The floor is stone with no covering cloth;
There's a rumour that it isn't even heated.

I’ve done the cons and I’ve done the pros
And the truth is becoming clear to see:
Monastic life is not a pleasant as I suppose
The cloistered life is not the one for me.

© J Cosmo Newbery
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  1. I'd survive about an hour.

  2. :) Well said!!
    And yeah... I would last about half an hour too....

    Like all your poems,this one was awesome too !!

  3. lol!
    very charming poem..

    at least monks are not squeamish about drinking wine and or beer ..

    maybe you can just visit a monastery for a day .. just to poke around.

    and then at night retreat to a cozy bed and breakfast and pen your poetry about other men's daughters there.

    so, i take it you just have sons?

  4. One of my favorite non-fiction novels is The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris. I do not believe her time in the cloister was as quite as 'bare bones' as you depict here. Other than adopting a religion of which she had qualms, the time truly was spent in self-reflection .... and writing. She published a quite successful novel of it.

    Hear, hear! I say for some peace and quiet. I live in fear each day that my brood will circle round, rope me, and tie me to a stake .... demanding all sorts of unpleasant tasks. Like grocery shopping ...


  5. I'd never make it.. I like tasty foods and soft beds. Quiet time is nice in moderation, but I might lose my mind if it was an everyday thing.

  6. well, good news/bad news/and the same old news.
    The good news....Yes. You can enter if yuou're pretending. That's actually the point you see.
    It's about the old ways and ending,
    About discovering the life within a tree.

    Bad news....Oh the food, the food, I wished I had taken along some candy.
    Alas, there's no sugar save where they keep the brandy.

    Same old news....It's a matter of getting an even keel, you've heard this many times, before.
    A person that walks too many different lines usually falls on the floor.

  7. I'd last about 15 minutes and then I'd probably start whistling Jimmy Crack Corn and get thrown out on my ear. I'm not the quiet sort - at all.

  8. I'd like to go for a week, maybe it would make me appreciate the noise here.

  9. Love the painting.
    At times I think too it would be nice to be living secluded with no possessions and only one purpose.

    But then again I once too often realize, just like you; "The cloistered life is not the one for me".


  10. Monks wouldn't endorse your chosen topics. See no venal, hear no venal, speak no venal...

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  12. Oh my, I seem to be repeating myself... Maybe I meant:

    See no venial, hear no venial, and speak no venial...

    No matter. Naked ladies and love notes aren't the usual monastic fare.

  13. Do no venial?

  14. yeah probably not for me either.

  15. I can't help feeling that you would be burnt at the stake if a pack* of monks got hold of you.

    *What's a collective name for monks?

    A frock, maybe.

  16. 3 hours tops for me ... the poor bedding would do me in.

  17. Excellent poem J Cosmo, so pleased I read it; my life is so cloistered I was thinking of becoming a nun and you have made me see the light. ♥

  18. It must be the red hair. We've historically been depicted as all sorts of temptresses .... a frock, indeed.

    I can't sing ... hmmm .... i'd have to employ other feminine wiles to avoid the lick of flame.



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