Dear Dirty America


Most Deeds Are Small

January 16
21:57 2013

Good Samaritan (russian icon)

(originally posted at 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems)

Most deeds are small
& no account is taken of them—
words & gestures—behavior—
toward & in response to
neighbors, strangers, family members
to the demands of
tyrants, their vassals, their serfs
to those stronger than you or weaker than you
while you are at peace with yourself
or in turmoil, maybe sick, frightened—
how you spend the decades of your life
tho you don’t have what you want
& don’t like what you must be doing—
I didn’t always know this—
I’ve neglected to master & practice common skills
I’ve been too impressed by the publicity of the prominent—
what the prominent do, their great accomplishments
& their non-accomplishments, too
& the promotion that trumpets their non-accomplishments—
these are deeds, too, with disproportionate influence—
but most deeds, by most people—
conventional, panicked, brave, deliberate, foolish, wise
& by all the other species, too—
no account is taken of them—
& they are the very soil of whatever crop will grow
whether humanity continues on its crazy, self-destructive way
or whether humanity becomes successful—
whether here & there an individual will truly fulfill him or herself
or only impress others that he or she has fulfilled him or herself
tho is really an empty shell—
or whether he or she will die unnoticed, or misunderstood—
most deeds are small, & no account is taken of them.

Eric Chaet, The Turnaround Artist, born Chicago, USA, 1945, raised on rough South Side, pre-computer factory, office, & warehouse jobs. Some teaching, some independent self-taught technical consulting. 1974, Old Buzzard of No-Man’s Land, poems, Toronto, Canada. 1977, Solid and Sound, vinyl LP of songs, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA.  Mid-80s to mid-90s, silkscreened, hitchhiked, & stapled 1500 cloth posters to utility poles along American highways.  1990, How To Change the World Forever For Better, brief prose philosophy, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, USA; 2nd edition, 1994.  2001, People I Met Hitchhiking On USA Highways, mostly narrative prose, De Pere, Wisconsin, USA.  Lives in Wisconsin, industrialized dairy farms & cows, remnant cheese & paper factories & factory hands & outlaw mammals & birds, post-construction boom, reactionary politics & obsolete machinery, a smattering of professionals & millionaires.  Poems published, over 50 years in many USA states, plus Brazil, Cuba, Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Nepal, India, China, Singapore, Korea, & Taiwan, often in translation. 

You can contact him at the Leave a Reply box on each page of his website, 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems, <>.

Find Chaet’s book, People I Met Hitchhiking USA Highwaysand read a review written hereSee also, There’s still a little breath in the old American RevolutionOn Job Creationand Stalin.

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