The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski #NationalPoetryMonth

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’m sharing one of my favorite poems, The Laughing Heart, by Charles Bukowski. This poem was pinned to my refrigerator to inspire me to stay alert to the time when “the gods will offer you chances.” I knew I needed a change, especially post-cancer when my compromised energy left little quality of life. I arrived in Hawaii this week to “the chance offered by the gods.” I seized it. I’m here. I’m grateful.

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.


  1. Wonderful poem. Speaking of poetry, there’s a new movie about Emily Dickinson, starring Cynthia Nixon, from “Sex and the City”. It’s beautifully done and stunningly acted.

  2. pawwetzel says:

    Wonderful, wonderful poem. Thank you ons many levels! And welcome to healing Hawaii!

  3. You made it! So glad for you. xoxo

  4. This is one of my favorite poems, and if you haven’t already seen it, there’s an awesome video on YouTube of these words read by Tom Waits, which I play often for myself.

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