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My Three Hearts

An octopus has three hearts.

So do you and I

There are three Turkish words for heart-- kalp, gőnűl, and yűrek.

Very well done, Turks,

So what’s that about?

What’s it to you?

Why should you care?

Open your heart and find out!


I have a heart that beats and pumps blood throughout my body

It is the driver that keeps me alive

It is why I need to avoid the pastrami I love

And leave the butter off my toast!

Among its enemies are my favorite French cheeses,

But they fill my heart (see below) with joy.

But I take statins and exercise

If kalp stops. I stop

And will probably make a noise like the Arabic version, qalp.

It is roughly shaped like the Chinese character for heart.

Which is xin, pronounced like shin.

(Hold that thought—it’s important for later)

If I sing the song from Titanic,

“My heart must go on…”

Well, it must --or I don’t go on!

If this heart is broken, there is always bypass surgery.



I have another heart that makes the kalp beat faster.

This is my emoji heart.

It is the place where love, friendship, and passion dwell.

This is the heart that Tony Bennett left in San Francisco.

It is much more beautiful than that blood pumper

Because it feels.

It decides what matters.

It is a place where the people in my life dwell

Where I carry my most precious memories

And the one I gave to my wife.

When it is broken, there is no surgery but time.

And a kick in this heart, is really a kick in the shin

It hurts.

This heart makes me more than an ambulatory pile of meat

This heart makes me a person.

This is the place where things that matter become things that matter.

This is where people that matter heal the holes.


If your heart is broken and you feel defeated, take heart.

Courage! Your other two hearts are still alive.

There is a heart that you have to have to stay in the game.

This heart is the bank where you place the lessons of a lifetime.

The heart that tells you, "I have survived other things

I will survive and surpass this."

When you put your heart into your work

When you don’t give up

When you keep going when it seems that you are losing

This heart requires the other two.

To keep going, the blood has to pump

And the passion has to be present.

Put your heart into it and keep on going.

This heart is your shin guard.

This is where who you are fills the holes.

4. The Hole in the Heart

I have heard that people have a physical hole sometimes in their heart

That requires intense surgery to fix.

On its own, the hole in the Kalp can kill you.

Then again, a hole in any of your three hearts can kill you.

Losing a loved one leaves a hole in the gőnűl

That may never be filled

But is treated by a heavy dose of the sweetness of memory

And the love that remains, ever, always stronger than death.

A hole in the yűrek is flagging courage

But there cannot be courage without fear

But gőnűl can give you the reason to have courage

Love fills the hole in the heart with love.

And fills the hole in the yűrek heart.

The purpose of all three hearts

Is for our hearts to touch each other

And feed any holes we find—

Fill them with love,

Knowing that we all have the same three hearts.

Fill the hole in your heart

With others.

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