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Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Live/ Norman's Here

Below are two poems my father wrote, both in 1994, four years before he died.  This is quite a departure for me on this blog, which has until now dealt only with my travels. But it seemed the best way for me to post it for those interested.  We used the first one, How to Live, on the program for his funeral.  It was one of the only parts of his funeral he didn't plan himself.  Yet, in a way, he did.  My cousin, and I hope I'm remembering this right,  later used it on her wedding invitation.

The second poem, Norman's Here, describes his seemingly fail proof method of getting a parking spot, anywhere, anytime, mid-town Manhattan, Harvard Square, just by announcing "Norm's here."  It pretty much exemplifies his light hearted, optimistic view of life.  I know of dozens of people who continue to use, and swear by, this method of finding a place to park.

My father died 14 years ago this month. He would have been 90 on November 13th this year. 


Do we know how to live?
Life is not a porous sieve
Moments do not just pass through
They stay on as part of you

Do we know how to savor?
Every instant has its flavor
A taste just isn’t here and gone
But continues living, on and on

Do we know how to enjoy?
Life is not a crude alloy
Each moment on itself is pure
Rich and clean, right and sure


Flitting eyes
Fear and hope
Beating heart
Can you cope?

Pulses race
There it is
A parking space

Pull up now
Just enough
Cut the wheel
That’s the stuff

Ease it in
Nice and snug
Sit and grin
Feeling smug

There’s no need
For a cheer
Now you know
Norman’s here.