I am a human being

I am not a human doing.
I am a human being.

And yet I have spent acres
Of time digging about in
The detritus of my life
Trying to find the real me.

I thought I needed to know.
I thought I needed to do.
I actually needed to now.
I actually needed to be.

I am not a human – doing.
I am a human – BEING.


53 Responses to “I am a human being”

  1. One from my archives.
    I was prompted to post it by a comment from Nick (http://gonecyclingagain.wordpress.com) in his blog.
    And yes Nick – I am an eldest child too πŸ™‚


  2. amen, here ended, the lesson!

  3. You have answered my question in your first comment! πŸ™‚

    Nick’s comment brought this poem to my mind too and I meant to mention it to you.

    It is such a simple concept , and you cover it so succinctly and skilfully. It is a beautiful poem.

    I have sent you a separate email as my phone is officially dead!

    Love you lots



    • *Smile*

      Thank you Christine

      It is interesting is it not to dig into your archives and find that what you wrote then applies just as much today.
      Having read Nick’s comment I could not resist putting this up πŸ™‚

      They have finished I think re-surfacing the road outside my house so I really ought to get my act together and go to the supermarket – ‘being’ is more difficult if there is no food in the house!!! πŸ™‚

      Love you loads


      • *bIg smile*

        Hope you are stocked up!


      • Ah, I put it off until another day πŸ™‚


      • Hi David,

        This gets more fascinating.

        First I read Nick’s poem, then yours, then I read (via you) Elizabeth’s post. And today I have read one by one of my WP friends, AngelaMarie (you will find her on my friends’ blogroll). Her post is called “A Passing Place”. Just look, particularly at the last stanza and more particularly the last two lines.

        Love you loads



      • Hi Christine,

        As I said to Elizabeth there is more connectedness in this world than we are consciously aware of.
        Sometimes we need to pay attention when these things happen *grin*

        I think I put up a blog some time ago about my Fairy Story poem and the connectedness associated with that.

        I will go shortly and look at those other blogs

        Love you loads

  4. A very original and compelling evocation of something very profound. I have never thought of that ‘human doing/human being dichotomy in quite this way before. I read the comments you referred to in Nick’s thread; how strange that the words he relates so exactly match the ones you had already written in your poem! I really liked Nick’s poem, too.

    I must also tell you that I just listened to you reading your wonderful poem ‘I Have Sat by the Sea’. I’m so glad I did; you read it beautifully, emphasising the hypnotic quality of the poem itself. Thank you for that. Very impressive, and very moving.

    • Thank you BH,

      I too was struck by the way Nick’s words echoed so closely the words I had already written – the world is a smaller place than we think πŸ™‚
      I hope you told him in his blog that you liked his poem – he is a very talented poet.

      Thank you too for your comment on the recording – I do believe that poetry is written to be read out loud. I am toying with the idea of putting sound recordings behind more of my poems on here – We shall see πŸ™‚


  5. exactly….

  6. Christine Lanham Says:

    LOVE this…so very beautiful

  7. Wow – that’s wonderful, David. Two minds with but a single thought, and all that. Humbled that a comment on my blog should lead to this lovely piece appearing on yours! And fascinating that you’re an eldest child, too. I think there’s definitely a poem in that somewhere.
    Funnily enough, I’d just finished editing a ‘real me’ poem from my own archives for today’s post before I read this. Would love to know what you think, as always.

    • Thank you Nick,

      I was going to put it in a comment on your blog and then decided to post it here instead. πŸ™‚
      Being an eldest child and the implications thereof is an interesting thought pattern – if you can find a poem in it I would be delighted to read it.

      I will look forward to reading your ‘real me’ poem when you post it


  8. David, a lovely poem i never read it first time round.

    I hope that’s not two posts with the same title.

  9. This is a great poem David. Definately my favourite of yours to date. It’s so true (:

  10. Wonderful bite of truth here David

  11. I’m sometimes astonished by the way that bloggers converge along similar thought lines. I visited earlier in the day during a break from putting together my own post for today, and I, too, was struck by the similarity of sentiment in yours, mine and Nick’s choice of words. Oh yes, the time ‘being’ is so much more important than that spent ‘doing’ and is to be greatly treasured … x

    • I do believe Elizabeth the there are more connections in this universe than we understand – I have more than once been struck by seeming coincidences which may well be much more than that πŸ™‚
      But we may not notice them if we do not take the time to ‘be’ πŸ™‚

      I will be along to visit your blog shortly

      David xx

  12. Hi David, a bit late in the day to compliment you with this poem, sorry πŸ™‚ It is a clever wordplay and it is fun to read.

    “I am not a human doing, I am a human being”

    Maybe you are doing being human. ?

    I had seen the phrase “I am a human doing ” before but couldn’t remember where, now I know it was on Nick’s blog πŸ™‚ Another favourite of mine. I like how you both can do serious and ironic poems, formal and free ones. I like that variaty.

    It is good to know you stopped digging for the real you πŸ™‚ Soul searching might have been the thing to do in the self centerd seventies, but it never gave a decent result lol. We can’t be inside our own mind, we are humans and there is no need to look for ourselves as we are what we do and we are how we act. Forget the questions; the answers are what ever you make of life, in spite of life. So the human doing is the human being afterall perhaps. The best in his interaction with the other and less when absorbed with its ego.

    Detritus is a nice word πŸ™‚ If it wasn’t so late, I would look it up. Psst, what does it mean?

    Of course you know the poem “Aubade” by Philip Larkin, as it is in “Staying Alive” : “I work all day and get half- drunk at night” The human doing is too self destructive at times. Back to being human is a good idea!

    Thank you very much for your comment on my blog, sometimes I think I should frame yours to keep me encouraged.

    It has been a hell of a day but this blog made up for a bit πŸ™‚ Sorry if there are some spelling errors, and for this comment being oversized like a fat lady’s bathing costume.
    And thank you for being human in your doing.

    Arohanui πŸ™‚


    • Oops it is even longer than I thought

    • *Big Smile*

      Thank you Ina,

      I think what the poem is saying is that we need to have balance between doing and being.
      I am not suggesting that we should be so introverted that we have our heads stuck up our own backsides all the time and therefore can’t see out!!
      But I do believe that if we just ‘do’ without taking the time to ‘be’ and to reflect then we will just continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.
      At least that’s the way it was with me when I was drinking – just as Larkin said.

      I love your thought – “Maybe you are doing being human.” I will settle for that. πŸ™‚

      Detritus is a good word. I like it too – Waste or debris.

      And your “oversized like a fat lady’s bathing costume” made me laugh.

      I hope your days have got better over the weekend


      • πŸ™‚ I know you were not suggesting that, and that you meant te opposite, that is what I meant too πŸ™‚ Reflecting from time to time of course is quite something else then trying to find out who you are all the time, forgetting what and who really matters πŸ™‚

        (See, I can do small comments!)

        Love and a {{{ hug }}}

      • *Laughing Out Loud*

        Thank you Ina

        Love and hugs to you too


  13. Hear, Hear! A message we all need, every day. Thank you, david.

  14. Great! I love this line so much – I have spent acres
    Of time digging!

  15. Hi David,

    This is such a wonderful poem. The truth within its lines as I percieve it is such a good wake up call. I particularly like the lines going into your final declaration

    “I thought I needed to know.
    I thought I needed to do…”

    Sometimes we need those side roads and tracks and meandering paths to give us the full appreciation of who we truely are. Often the quest in my personal experiance for the “real me” turns out to be the red herring of what I want to be or wish I could be.

    Coming to place of realisation about who we are as humans… being, is a kind of liberation away from expectations. We are who we are and that’s just fine. πŸ™‚
    That’s what I take form this poem in any case. πŸ™‚

    I hope you are having a lovely weekend. πŸ™‚

    and K’sOTC πŸ˜€

    • Thank you Tikarma,

      “We are who we are and that’s just fine.” – Yes, yes, yes!!!! – But it took me a long time to get there. And, if I am not careful, I can forget and get the big stick out again!! πŸ™‚

      I do have a tendency to get lost in ‘busy’ and lose sight of the need to take time out for me.
      It is all about balance!!! DUH!!! But while I can say that, putting it into practise is another thing altogether. πŸ™‚

      I did have a good weekend thank you – feel the better for it today πŸ™‚

      I hope you have a really good week

      and K’sOTC πŸ™‚

  16. Do we change by being or doing?…I guess that’s the question…Is change an action or a state of transition?…Do we become or merely regain lost potential?…So many possibilities…

  17. Truly a great reminder for everyone! Nice one, David!

  18. David,

    I do like this.
    I thought it seemed familiar, then I read your comment about it being from your first book. Thank you for posting it here for us to read again.
    I don’t think I’m alone when I say I occasionally need to be reminded that the brain which is capable of inventing all sorts of alternative realities must still contend with living within the fences of where the rest of the body is and what it is doing!

    Love you,

    • Shirley,

      What a wonerful comment.

      “contend with living within the fences of where the rest of the body is and what it is doing” – I smiled with delight at this thought – it brought me up short and made me think πŸ™‚

      I think my body needs a cup of tea and a slice of toast!! At least that is what it is telling me at this moment πŸ™‚

      Love you


  19. so often we get value confused with production ….

  20. Hi David, I just left you a partial comment then the computer ate it!!

    I just love this write. There is so much truth in it. I totally can identify with it. Wonderful!

  21. I am from Australia and have just discoverd your wonderful words. It’s so important to just be.It’s late in the evening here, so I will explore your blog further tomorrow.

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