Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves…

Some men live lives of quiet desperation. Some men just live. I like to think my Uncle Dave is the latter.

Every Christmas for years my Aunt Kathy would buy me the James Kavanaugh poetry book There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves. One year she inscribed in the inside cover “this poem always makes me think of your Uncle Dave.”

I don’t think I actually ever read the poem before today. This morning I found myself looking for the book to see what my Aunt had actually inscribed, remembering it from years before. Scurrying though my mother’s junk I hope to one day sell on Ebay I found three copies of the book. All inscribed by my Aunt Kathy. I chuckled to myself as I found that two had the exact same inscribed quote listed above. Although I had previously received several copies of the beautiful, poetry book…I had never actually read the poem. I stood in the basement knee high with all of my mom’s old crap and read it for the very first time.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder them for a merchant’s profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant’s world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant’s world,
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

Hmmmm…while I immediately loved the poem I wasn’t as immediately reminded of my Uncle Dave. In fact, I think the poem is written about a much weaker man than that and I like my men gentle…but also somewhat masculine. I like a little bit of wolf in my husband, father and uncle.

I decided instead I would write what I think of when I think of my Uncle Dave.

These are the lessons I’ve learned from my Uncle Dave:

Nap everyday.
Only stay as long as you want, its your life after all.
Never compromise but never be difficult either.
Laugh often.
Don’t ever get in serious conversations just stand up and walk away.
Only eat what looks good to you.
Cherish friends and family.
But cherish yourself more.
Watch movies often.
Read books often.
Because fictional life is better than reality.
Enjoy people’s best moments.
But be willing to tolerate their worst moments too.
Don’t over think anything.
Change your career mid life.
When its time to go its time to go.
Do what makes you happy.
Send meaningful emails.
Never Age…(Seriously, I think my Uncle Dave has looked the same for 40 years!)
And above all else.
The most important lesson of all…
Always Always…
Keep a clean car!

James Kavanaugh is correct. There are men to gentle to live among wolves. And my Aunt Kathy is correct also in comparing my Uncle to him because he’s a good guy. One of the best. But she wouldn’t really like him if was a wimp like Mr. Kavanaugh’s guy. No, she likes a little bit of wolf…don’t we all?

My Uncle Dave has a little howl in his step…you just have to look for it.

He’s always reads everything I write and might just be my biggest cheerleader. For that reason I thought this would be my Christmas present to let him know exactly how much he’s impacted my life. After all…we’re on borrowed time as it is!


2 thoughts on “Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves…

  1. Peter, You are right on about your Uncle Dave! I have known him 51 years and totally agree with your description of a wonderful man and friend!

  2. Pingback: Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves… | pakehamack

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