Life Goes By


Watching life go by through the window of a train
See a landscape that you want to grab with your hands
breathe it in; breathe it out

But within seconds it’s gone
and a feeling of emptiness rushes to fill the void created

Moment by moment life goes by;
we observe it and it disappears
each moment eats away at the last

What CAN we hold on to that’s solid?
That won’t drift away like ripples in a pond?

Poem/Video: Mike Jones


I wrote this in India on a 28 hour train ride; my two years of living there were coming to an end. I spent some time looking out the window at the variegated scenery. As dawn broke, I had a stark realization that life is similar to the beautiful landscapes I was seeing before me.

The train flies by at high speeds and the attractive landscape zips past, not allowing us any time to really soak it up. As ugly scenes (like polluted river beds) come into view, we lament, longing for the beautiful sights once again.

Life is a lot like that. Good things come and go, as do bad things. Time pushes us all along very swiftly. What is it that remains consistent among all these changes? This was a short non-rhyming poem (a rarity for me) to express those realizations.

A few months after writing the poem, I thought more about this concept. We all have a natural desire to see someone more important or more powerful than ourselves. Apart from the times they experience envy, most people naturally want to worship and offer praise to those they perceive to be more wealthy, more attractive, more intelligent, more powerful, more famous or more renounced from the world.

Unfortunately this praise is often directed to the wrong place in the material world. Sports stars, movie stars, rock musicians, royalty and many others become the object of worship. But all of these people will drift away and new individuals will replace them. Are they really worth so much of our time and attention in this short life?

Isn’t it better to seek the Source of the qualities these people possess? The origin of what makes them so attractive to the common man (and woman)?

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