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Poems give poignant lessons about savoring life's events

Published: September 3, 2007

If we knew each day how many timeouts we had left, how many hours remaining

Would we be better players?

Maybe. Maybe not.

So we continue to let the clocks measure our hours, the calendars number out days and years. Then before we know it — time's up.

Reading that poem reminded me of some lines written by my friend, Jim Chastain, in his book of poetry, "Like Some First Human Being.” These words are from the poem titled "Time.” If you could only grab it and hang on, buy a carton of the stuff, or slip some into your front pocket. If you could only reclaim that moment, revisit that stupid mistake, or swallow that unfortunate word.

And from another of Jim's poems, "We get a certain amount of time on this earth and no more. How, then, do we let life become so predictable and mundane, allowing entire days to pass by without putting up a fight? Why do we say, "Let's not think about that,” then leave to fold the laundry?

To Marti and Jim — for their gifts — thank you.

Charlotte Lankard is a marriage and family therapist in private practice with Baptist Counseling Associates and director of the James L. Hall Center for Mind, Body and Spirit at Integris. E-mail her at


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