Of A Different Kind

Cover of Planet of the Blind....man and dog....

“My purpose is to tell of bodies which have been transformed
into shapes of a different kind.”

—Ovid, Metamorphoses


I think about my purpose after a hard couple weeks. Two friends have passed, one a man and the other a dog and I’ve beheld their ashes. Bodies now shapes of a different kind. And I thought of Ovid, that stricken cartoonist, who saw men and women trapped within trees and animals, who knew the cruel gods and goddesses. In other words I cursed my education.

What else can you do?


Foolish to think we have purpose. And equally silly to imagine we don’t. As the poet said: “curses on those who do/and do not take dope.”

Holding my little dog’s ashes last night I reminded myself I’ve a reason to be here. And I’ve no idea what it is.

My friend was what we’ve come to call a “failed Catholic” who, by my lights, was a success as he left a cruel church and practiced lovingkindness all his days. His motto would have been had he shared it: “be good, be kind, get on with it.”

Ovid, who didn’t think creation was kind would not have understood this. But the Sermon on the Mount is, like the Declaration of Independence, a game changer. Dare to be kind, dare to think for yourself. Dare to know love is the purpose.


I repeat this to the ashes.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

One thought on “Of A Different Kind”

  1. Stephen, trying to reach you with an invitation to submit an animal-related poem to a chapbook, similar project as the Indelible Companions chapbook you contributed to in 2008. It’s a fundraiser for the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center. Poetry submissions should be no more than 50 lines long, or prose submissions no more than 600 words. One submission per type per author. Please get in touch with me if you’re interested or have questions.


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