A Little Life, Please

My life is

little, paltry, hardly

seen, but being

human is that: more

minutia than magna.


Cutting lawn, cleaning stove, shuffling paper, reconciling calendars, building with broken legos.


Your life is

little, but it is the

marginal alone, that

slide in between, that

slip through the fence so to see

chipmunk’s cheeky treasure, to hear

robin’s cantata, to witness

tree’s rotation.


Our life is

little, but the little alone

become breathless, beholding

the world in their



6 thoughts on “A Little Life, Please

  1. thank you for this bit of holy minutia, Allen, and for showing the magna in the micro….

  2. jannatwrites says:

    Lovely poem! In the scheme of the world, our lives are small, but there is so much beauty in the everyday. I really like, “more minutia than magna.”

  3. shoreacres says:

    I have a visceral reaction to human life described as little, paltry, small. I understand intellectually what you’re getting at, and happen to agree about the value of the minutia in our lives. But there are forces abroad in the world today that are set upon denying the value of the individual. That concerns me greatly, and I’m perhaps hyper-sensitive to the ways in which we are being slowly herded toward conformity and collectivism.

    I’ve read the poem several times now, and I think it’s that one word, “paltry”, that disturbs me most. The definition of the word, “having little meaning, importance, or worth,” is what gets to me. I know that’s not what you mean – the world also can mean a very small amount. Still, I was surprised by how much that single word bothered me.

    Lots of thought from this one! Thanks!

    • agjorgenson says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply. The word paltry is difficult, and that is why it is there. It has no positive connotations for me. But it really does describe how I feel sometimes, and I’m guessing that I am not unusual in this regard. I completely concur with you on the dangers of collectivism, and think a lot these days about how we are herded about (been to an airport lately?) in the name of safety, but mostly efficiency. It is interesting what companies can get away with. It really is rather disturbing, and air travel is just the tip of the iceberg.

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