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When I was a child I watched the world hurrying about
And sometimes wondered what was all the worrying about?
What for all the hustle and bustle and desperate need
That kept everyone running everywhere at mindless speed?
What was the gem that made everyone dying to find it
Which somehow always left everyone one step behind it?

I knew soon enough a few years later (though still a youth!)
What they sought and would always be the most sought-after truth;
One day when I found myself strangely searching for it too
(Ah, in every place I went and on every face I knew!)
That my life too would be forever committed to this...
Elusive heaven...some sunken treasure...a lover’s kiss!

And so, I went about my life while learning to survive,
But still I waited for the Sacred Treasure to arrive.
Often I sought it in the places where I labored and toiled;
Sometimes in the heart of beauty, whose heart was cold and spoiled.
Or even within the corridors of power and fame
Till I saw in their eyes the Treasure had given no claim!

So I spent years gazing upon the lifetimes of some few
Who would boast they had found it--to learn if one claim was true!
And though their words were tinged with joy, and their faces would smile,
I knew the treasure they had found would only last a while.
And that the Sacred Treasure--if it did really exist--
Was as temporary as a frail, early-morning mist!

And though the “while” was a sweet and beautiful and great thing,
It was doomed to always be a brief and found-too-late thing!
Still, I looked among lovers and children and families
Thinking (but just a while!) that I would see what true love sees!
And the Sacred Treasure would come and rescue my sad life
Then finally end the travails of my unending strife!

But no, the pain was not to end! the joy was not to be!
Every well-sought life is met with darkness and tragedy!
For some it comes in a friend or loved-one’s sudden last breath.
For others it is the unforeseen, unexpected death
Of any gist of success you had ever dreamt or planned
Suddenly lost...or taken from you...by some unseen hand!

Then I would visit any pertinent temple and church
And even for a while...thought now that I could end my search,
Only to find that all my hopeless life would ever find
Was some dubious taste of faith and mindless peace of mind!
Whose prayers for deathless life made this one less painful to feel
So some can give up the search and swear the waste is not real!

No matter, one disconcerting day...not so long ago
I finally caught the Specter (oh...little did I know!)--
Fame and fortune were mine! Success had come to me at last!
By God! I had even grasped true love from the dark, cold past!)
Then I woke up one next day from my placid, giddy bed...
To find my success gone bankrupt...and my true love was dead!

Though now I hear the beauty of immense music and song
And can feel the grace of the stars in heaven sing along,
(Along with all the wonder and splendor upon this earth!)--
The presence of truth and goodness, the miracle of birth,
The thrill of great events, the rewards of brave endeavor,
Are all meaningless to me...and will be so forever!

The Sacred Treasure does not live and is not meant to be!
(So life is hapless! And freedom is wasted on the free!)
The Sacred Treasure does not live--and we are blind to see
That the purpose of the journey...is only the journey.

And though I would gaze through the eyes of a desolate child
Hoping yet to find one soul upon whom the angels had smiled,
That it could be mine till the day old age would see me die
(Before I curse for the last time the dreaded word “goodbye!”)
I would keep to the baseless search for the Sacred Treasure
Blessed by what I may find from brief joy and fleeting pleasure.
But no! I must tell the searching world...and with little cheer...
If you’re looking for happiness...ah, don’t look for it here.

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Eric Lawson
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Thank you for reading my poem and for your kind praise. I appreciate it.

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