Changes

Is your name a pretence?

By you, but who are you?

You are, aren’t you?

A distinctive scowl and careless attitude.

That is in you.

Your song.

Why is your name so different?

Have you had enough of being yourself,

That you had to pretend?

Am I wrong?

Have I mistaken your character by appearances?

When I saw you as you are it was for the first time

Then I had enough already.

You call yourself 1980, but by many other names.

You are known as more and this we know well, so well, by your

Distinctive scowl and careless attitude

This blew me. 1980 is just a name, isn’t it?

You were more than

Distinctive

More than a scowl

More than careless

More than an attitude

For underneath,

You were saying,

“I come as a whist,

But also.”

I was never the same again.

Background to today’s poem

The poem I published this week, Widow’s Mite, may seem harsh on the rich, it seems to have an attitude. Yes it does. That’s because I don’t like the pretentions of the wealthy where it appears and their negligence of the poor where it appears.

My attitude may be personal. I try to listen to my Bible as well. The Old Testament casts down the greedy and criticizes their blind eye to those in need. The rich man went away from Jesus sad when he could not follow Jesus and give all he had to the poor, in the New Testament.

Greed is not good where it comes in its various forms. I don’t like it in myself when I strive getting another rare CD, but try to bring it into perspective and change my priorities.

I always admired the widow in Jesus’ story who gave all she had to live on, presumably what ever she had left over after paying her expenses, to the poor. Jesus was pleased with her more than the people who gave out of their wealth, presumably they had plenty left over after their expenses were paid and only gave some of it.

It’s the selfless giving to the needs in the community that commended the widow, from all she had. But the rich had much more to give out of their wealth.

Widow’s mite

You give more than you can—

Every day you give a widow’s mite.

What more can you?

Rich man:

Why am I so afraid to give to someone who begs?

To support a busker, what a dredge

Her songs are no good, she likes her small pleasures.

Her pleasures come and go.

They’re free and gone forever.

Why should I pay for hers? She cannot live by songs!

They are fools.

Needy fools!

She does what she wants

I have to work

Let God give to her!

I do not!

I don’t lend money or give free of charge

Whoever wants my help shall be charged!

I am not untrue

I do my work and so should you.

Poor man:

Why are you afraid to give to a beggar?

A beggar does not pretend

Why wouldn’t a rich man give a widow’s mite?

To someone who cares to sing?

And fill the air with prosperity.

Good things

Why would you begrudge two miserly dollars?

For a performance from the heart

What do you know about charity?

You wretched man of deceit

You don’t do as Jesus says

You like your small pleasures

You just can’t let go of two miserly dollars

One day you’ll do it

I bet you will

It will be for a bet on the races

I know it will.

Rich man:

Busker and beggar,

You are human beings I don’t know

I don’t have to let go.

Poor man:

Why are you afraid to give?

Rich man:

But I tried. In the cold, through the wind, and under grey clouds,

I waited for her

I waited…

To give more than I would, with the feet and hands of Jesus I should, not knowing what may come

She says to me:

I do not need your money.

For when one sings from the heart,

Reward fills my soul.

A pocketbook then, one does not need.

So, the rich man sang with all his might

A widow passed by,

And threw him a coin —

Her left overs from the wages

What she spent on food and rent —

All that she had left to live on.

Money meant for the poorest —

The coin fell by the rich man’s feet.

So he sung even more.

Not to make some money,

But to make his soul

From sweetness and honey.

Every note a hymn, a

Prayer to soothe.

He’ll come to his senses,

Soon.

Drifted

I was alone when it happened.

But I felt a calm around me.

As if taking this pain without feeling a thing

I was in the East that day, in the middle of the world.

It was sunny, on a river, and I was standing in my paddle boat.

There I was chased by unknown bodies, vaguely resembling figures,

They had a shape,

But no form

The arrows they shot at me flew by and I laid low.

And paddled my boat to a bamboo dwelling, where I hid.

A thatched house.

Those accusers would not find me there, my thoughts.

I paused for a moment as the figures went away.

Around the corner, they vanished.

Some arrows got me.

I felt long arrow shafts moving down my chest,

At the same time, I saw arrowheads protruding.

And the arrows I saw were removed, almost supernaturally, as if the wind blew them away.

I felt no pain.

Regaining strength, I saw yet again my pursuers who were waiting for me, my thoughts.

And the river looked kind as I watched it appear before my eyes, thanking providence.

A man I recognized as he came beside me. He was my friend.

An older man, wearing a robe, and with beard.

Light in spirit,

Lighter than anyone I knew.

As if he could be carried,

But he carried me by his spirit,

As we travelled by boat to an unknown destination.

To get away from those thoughts,

Which brought me no pain,

But only worry.

My friend gave me great comfort in the days ahead.

I forgot about my attackers and neither did they come.

The days came and went, and I drifted away down the river, with my friend by my side.

I was glad. For we disappeared into the mist, and I was at rest from those thoughts.

Guilt

The sky turned on me,

I looked, and saw

Arrows shooting down, piercing me one by one

My soul bent over, crippling me.

I screamed in the silence, but even I could not hear myself.

The deadly arrows had no archer.

Was the Devil to blame?

Did God do it?

Or was I dreaming?

The air screamed, was deceived with lies and evil,

Haunting me in my failure.

I was to blame for the arrows shot down.

I brought them on myself.

For I had failed

And the guilt almost killed me.

No, it was remorse.