Short stories by Betul Erbasi

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Short Story 134: Oh Well

Ahh, those moments when you become someone else. Times when you say things you would not say otherwise. Those times when emotions take over you, control you.

That is all she was able think today. She rarely lost control of her words. But today she had. Oh well.

Was she justified because she was right to be angry? Would being in the right justify the bad sentences that came out of her mouth?

She thought of that too. Ultimately, she decided that bad words were never justified. Not in her world at least. You should either let it go or watch your words, she thought to herself. Maybe bad words could be justified if the offending person was a bad, bad person. But not in this situation. This really didn’t fit her. She should have let it go. Oh well.

The bad things about words you say is that you can’t take them back. She loved Rumi the poet. He had said

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:Is it true?Is it necessary?Is it kind?”

She hadn’t listened to him this time. Oh well.

In this situation, she was objectively justified. But she could not justify herself. Oh well.

Dandruff shampoo

I’ve done nothing at all today
I just breathe and I eat and I pray
My mind is contemplative
And yet I’m inventative
Why did God make me this way?

I have written a poem, you demur
Is that work like cleaning cat’s fur?
I love little Minny
She scratches the sinners
Never ask me what my scars are

I have brushed all my hair I admit
Well,I can’t find that comb for the nits
I’ve got my dandruff shampoo
What is it that you do?
Gather it up bit by bit?

As we get older hair thins
And we cannot open our tins
But I love the privilege
I am jury and love a judge
I have a confession, I have sinned

The art of doing nothing

The art of doing nothing’s hard to learn
To sit and daydream till we get new thoughts
It’s immoral, say the Puritans

Harder to accept the need to mourn
So many ancient losses strip our hearts.
The art of doing nothing’s hard to learn

The feelings that felt too hard to be borne
We could have looked for maps or sought out charts
It’s immoral to seek help so we’ve been told

Here we weep when our skinned hearts are torn
We fear we may have forfeited love’s balm
The art of doing nothing’s hard to learn

We only know our self when love is born
In another’s eyes we find our calm
Reject the harshness of old Luther’s forms

Fear not death, for there are strong wide arms
God is not a monster who wills harm
The art of doing nothing will prepare
For when we meet one day his welcome stare