Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Widow's Mite

They asked me once… No, come to think
It was more than once; Actually when have they not
Asked me? But for the sake of the poem, once,
“Why? Why throw it all away? Why sink
Into oblivion? I mean, you know, you’ve got
It all! Brains, muscle, health. You dunce.
Why let it go?”
                        And I must say…
                                                       I don’t know.
I don’t know what it is that I am letting go
Of, I have let go of quite a bit in my time
Sacrificed time with family,
Time with friends,
Time with books
Time in Church
In my search
With vague frenzied looks
For insufficient ends.
Time in college,
Time at the park,
Around the campfire in dark
And much knowledge
Gained from teachers
And preachers.
Sacrificed time at the end of my life
With my aging wife
Time borrowed against my latter years
In health used up now
And wealth spent on things
I do not even remember. Silver wings
For a meniscal tear
A green hat
For an arthritic back
And a bursa spent upon
Who knows what? Need I go on?

And yet I have been the gainer, through it all,
A certain mental toughness, a confidence
I never had before; a physicality
Beyond the reach of most. My personality
Needed the reality, banality, inanity and all out insanity
Of such a life, to break at length through the dense
Obtuse mind’s self centered wall,
To see what truly matters.

And now, having seen much of places and climes,
Governments and men, through various times
And traded gold for success,
And achieved success and filled my mouth with the whole dusty mess
And chewed and swallowed and soliloquized
On the dry, tasteless, much prized
Dust, and how delicious it would be if only
I could season it with a little more dust…
In short, having become lonely…
At length I can hear
The silent voice in my ear
Deafening me with His love.

“If dust is all you have, then give it to me
Every speck.
Keep not one fleck
For yourself. Then you shall see
How I make much of nought.”
And so, I thought, why not?
Having made a hell of a try
Of this and found it dry,
If He offers me living water for the dust of earth
That forms my frame,
And shapes what fame
I might yet have achieved,
So what? He is to be believed.
And in the end all I have from birth
Is His, to give, to whom he will.

So it is willed,
Where what is willed must stay.
And so you can keep this whole mess
The fame, and fury, and utter pointlessness.
I will give it all for love and fade away,
And thus be filled.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Of Mules and Men

Astride a bold black gelding,
The aged cowboy with the belly lapping over his belt,
(Eloquently speaking the joys of pulled pork
Hot bacon,
Cold beer)
Looked over and said, 

"Them two is the walkin'est mules I ever seen.
Walkin'est damn mules.
This one time 'bout fifteen years back
'Bout five in the mornin' I jumped on Ol' Edgar's back
An' we was still walkin' 
Six o' clock the next mornin'. 
He ain't had no quit in him.

"An' Big Arlo!
He done packed damn near six-hunnert pounds
Up 'n down
All them hills
All day.

"Yessir, them mules just want a job,
And a decent livin'
Place to live
An' a good meal at the end o' the day.
Mules is the Amur'can-est animals there is."