Poem: The Simple Life

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Red Hawk




The Simple Life

No cell phone, no caller id, no call-waiting, no
cable, no Tivo, no computer, no Ipod, no
blueberry, no notepad, no laptop, no
riding mower, no leaf blower, no weed eater,
no digital clock, no air conditioner, no new car;
I live in another country, a different century.

I ride my 3-speed bike to work, because
it helps the Earth and eases the body more gracefully
into its dying; it makes the body work hard and
it likes to work, likes to do sweat-labor despite
the avalanche of labor-saving technology whose function
is to drain us of our life force.

I write by hand in a notebook because
I like to see where I’ve been, follow my tracks back
through the snow, nothing deleted.
I don’t want to know who’s calling or
who has called. I’ve lived 65 years and I have
never gotten a phone call that made a difference.

Most people are slaves.
That’s the way they like it.
After all the years of heartbreak and disappointment,
of treachery and betrayal, are you so far gone
that you believe the next phone call will be the one
that saves you? When Death comes for you,

you can’t say, Would you mind holding?
I've got a life on the other line.




Red Hawk is a professor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. His poetry collections include: Journey of the Medicine Man (1983), The Sioux Dog Dance (1991), The Way of Power (1996), The Art of Dying (1999) and Wreckage With A Beating Heart (2005); Raven’s Paradise won the 2009 Bright Hill Press Poetry Prize and was published in 2010. He has had poems in the Atlantic, the Kenyon Review, Poetry, the Atlanta Review, Shenandoah, the Tampa Review and many others.


©2015, Red Hawk, used by permission

Technoculture Volume 5, (2015)