Poem Hunter
Poems
Be Kind
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Be Kind

we are always asked
to understand the other person's
viewpoint
no matter how
out-dated
foolish or
obnoxious.

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
with
kindliness,
especially if they are
aged.

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
badly
because they have
lived
out of focus,
they have refused to
see.

not their fault?

whose fault?
mine?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their
fear.

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately
wasted
life

among so many
deliberately
wasted
lives

is.

User Rating: 3,4 / 5 ( 249 votes ) 25

Comments (25)

I wonder if Bukowski felt that writing this poem, amongst so many others, was a crime or a waste...
OH SHl..... This man ruthlessly lit garbage moral customs on fire 50 years ago in the name of truth and withdrawal. It’s not beautiful like a flower, it’s beautiful like cold justice.
excellent poetic expression- age is no crime but the shame of a deliberately wasted life....//
so interesting poem and asking- not their fault? whose fault? mine? .............
10 out of 10. Straight on target and raw. Although I do believe you can still exercise compassion, but you don't need to understand them to be able to cultivate it.
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