From Shape of Time

You aren’t better than anyone.

You aren’t worse than anyone.

You have been given the world.

See what there is to see.


Protect what is around you,

hold who is there beside you.

All creatures in their own way

are funny –


and fragile.



The question isn’t

how to be in style


how to live in truth

in the face of all the winds?


With mindfulness, courage,

patience, sympathy –

how to remain brave

when the spirit fails?




Idleness is often empowering,

recreating oneself –

just as the moon gradually

grows full once again,

a battery surely and

steadily recharges,

so everything, everyone

must have time for the self –


for mirth and for laziness

time to be human.


Doris Kareva

(trans. from Estonian by Tiina Aleman)

Found in Being Human, ed. Neil Astley


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