Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guest Poet: Hal O'Leary


Since time began
The search has been for happiness.
Philosophers and seers,
Psychologists and bards,
Consensus cannot find.
And we are left to fend and find our own.

Our own!
And there-in lies the clue.
For each of us is born unique,
With different tastes and preferences
With different possibilities
So if we're to find our happiness,
We must discover what they are.
I'm minded of Saroyan's thought
It takes a lot of practice
For a man to get to be himself.
So look to that to make a start
Discover what your talents are.
And in the exercise there-of,
You're sure to find a happiness
That truly is your own.

It's Do and Be, but first,
To Do, you've got to know yourself.
Then do what you were meant to do.
Do whatever's right for you,
Then make the effort to become
The very best at being you
The very best that you can be,

One last note
The sources of our happiness.
There are no more than two,
Anticipation is the first,
The other's recollection
The first takes precedence in youth
Replaced with recall as you age.

© Hal O'Leary 2011

Hal O'Leary is an eighty-five year old veteran of WWII. Having spent a life time in the theatre and as a Secular Humanist, He believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. Hal is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from West Liberty University.


  1. Hal, this is a testiment of experience and deep feelings. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your 'one last note' says it all- anticipation & recollection'- it's the recall as we age that's the problem!!:)

  3. I love the poem because it got many clever words and IT gives you many reasons to live happily and enjoy all the moments in life.

  4. The complexity of life boiled down to those two words, and right you are. Beautiful poem, Hal.


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