Happiness Research

Rain over Berkeley! The birds are all out
delivering the news.                                                                                  
The evening is wet and happy tonight.                    
“Is there more to happiness than feeling happy?”
the moral philosophers inquire.

Research has shown                                                          
if you spot a dime on the sidewalk
you're more likely to tell the professor your life 
is fine, thank you. The effect                                             
generally lasts about twenty minutes.            
Scientists are closing in on                                                                  
the crowded quarter of the brain                                                      
where happiness lives. They like to think                                           
it's hunkered down
in the left prefrontal cortex.           

“Even in the slums of Calcutta
people on the street describe themselves
as reasonably happy.” Why not be
reasonable? why not in Berkeley? why not                  
right now, sweetheart, while the rain                                               
is stroking the roof?                                 

The split-leaf philodendron is happy            
to be watered and fed. 
The dress I unbuttoned is more than glad
to be draped on the chair.

-- first published in The Cortland Review

listen Listen to Chana Bloch reading "Happiness Research