Poems by Otho Campbell

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Here are some poems from my friend Otho Campbell. As he did not title them, I follow the way Emily Dickinson poems are labelled, which is to say by the first line.

Carl Kruse

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In Every Case I Know Of

In every case I know of,

in my life, in the news,

ego is the reason why

excessive force is used.

Self image is what tells us,

“Show them how it’s done.

You don’t have to take this crap.

They’ll see who’s number one.”

Strength’s a thing we all respect.

We just get confused,

thinking that it shows our strength,

when power is abused.

The strongest thing we ever do,

we all should know quite well,

is loving and protecting those,

who can’t protect themselves.

As Something Of A Loner

As something of a loner,

I’ve never understood,

how people give up everything,

just for some “greater good.”

I’ve always heard the stories,

of heroic sacrifice,

and to my independent mind,

they seemed like bad advice.

But now I find, there’re ways my mind’s

connected to all others;

that it’s a dream that makes us seem,

distinct from one another.

The evidence suggests that we

all share the self same soul;

and every individual’s

connected to the whole.

Heroics start to make more sense.

Our lives aren’t just our own.

Good news if you’re lonely,

as we’ll never be alone.

We still might hide, and might pretend,

that we don’t hear the call.

But happiest are those who know,

We’re born to give our all!

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

“No good deed goes unpunished,”

is just one of Murphy’s laws.

The golden rule: A fantasy,

like elves and Santa Claus.

People take advantage of

the kindness you commit.

Jean Valjean would just buy drugs,

with the bishop’s candle sticks.

The road to hell, as we all know,

is paved with good intentions.

But who is it that takes this road?

That’s never really mentioned.

It’s sometimes true, that those you’d help,

refuse the help you give.

But does it follow then that you

have lessened how YOU live?

What the net effect will be

on beneficiary,

of any act of kindness is,

for you, just secondary.

Giving only plants a seed,

and sometimes seeds don’t grow.

Or they might flower, to the hundreth power;

Only time will show.

But NOW’s the only time you need,

to feel the Love from giving.

And Love’s the only thing that makes,

life truly worth the living.

How Can I Be Happy

“How can I be happy and

contented, like you are?”

I heard a young man ask

his mother,

in their booth beside the bar.

He said he loved her dearly,

but she was his ONLY treasure;

That nothing else on God’s green earth,

now gave him any pleasure.

“There’s your answer,” she replied,

“It all comes down to you.

If you can’t enjoy the world

there’s not much I can do.”

“Thanks a lot,” he said, in jest.

“That’s all I need to hear.

Better just to end it all.

At least now that is clear.”

“Loving makes you happy.

It never fails for me.

You love; you’re glad. You hate; you’re sad.

That’s plain enough to see.”

“So just ignore the evil?

The injustice? All the strife?

Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Is that the key to life?”

“Darkness is just lack of light.

Didn’t you go to school?

physics, optics, shows you that;

So does the golden rule.

“You think that we should hate the blind?

Does that seem right to you?

If YOU could see, you’d see that they,

are just the same as you.

“Look my boy, just use your head.

It’s simple as can be.

If we can find something to love

in everything we see,

“then all the world will make us smile,

and conversely it’s true;

when we hate, it always makes,

us feel the way you do.”

Not the most maternal speech,

I really have to say.

But Junior seemed to smile a bit

as they walked away.

Everything That Was And Is

Everything that was and is,

is part of the divine;

animated or inert,

with or without a mind.

We things with minds will tend to think,

and think we’re at the top,

of food chain and biology,

the cream of nature’s crop.

These thoughts create self focus,

which makes the truth unclear.

Immortal bliss is what we are;

The self: Just a veneer.

We All Must Have An Enemy

We all must have an enemy;

someone to fight and hate.

It’s in our natures, so it seems;

instinctual; innate.

Every tribe in history,

has made war on its neighbors.

Every family has its feuds;

plough shares turned to sabers.

Once I even saw a drunk,

self righteously attacking,

his wheelchair bound companion whose,

respect he felt was lacking.

It dawned on me that he and we

are different not in kind,

just in degree, since neither see

the real threat, in the mind.

I mean, of course, the cause; the source,

of all our hate and fear;

the vile self conscious inner voice,

that whispers in the ear;

the only enemy we have,

our very own ego.

All would be others, are just brothers,

who share the same self foe.

You Know Why They’re So Happy?

“You know why they’re so happy?”

I heard an old man say,

watching puppies in the park,

as they ran and played.

” ’cause unlike us, they’re unaware,

that they’re going to die.

Ignorance is truly bliss,

and that’s the reason why.”

Wow! I thought. I guess he’s not,

too happily encumbered,

with the burden of the truth:

That his own days are numbered.

But is it true, as he wants to,

believe, that everyone,

is saddened by the knowledge that,

the end will one day come?

Is death the thing that ruins it all,

as he seems to say?

Does knowing that we’re going to die,

mean nothing’s quite okay?

I can’t agree. In fact for me,

there is a certain way,

that death can make my life improve,

when thought about each day.

To find awareness past this dream’s

the goal of meditation;

achieved with ease

when death’s the focus

of your contemplation.

To circumvent distractions,

and endless appetites;

To know there’s more, beyond the door,

right there, though out of sight.

Death becomes the bogeyman

when we just see what’s lost;

blind to what we get in trade,

focused on the cost.

So think about your death today,

not skeletal remains,

but love and truth, the living proof,

Of all you have to gain.


I hope you enjoyed some of them.

I share more of Otho Campbell’s poems in the blogposts at Carl Kruse Shares Otho Campbell Poetry and at Poetry by Otho Campbell. As an aside, Otho Campbell recently released a book, “Upside Down,” which I am in the process of reading. Here is a link to it on the Carl Kruse Goodreads page.

Find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/carl_kruse

With warmth,

Carl Kruse

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