Friday, August 1, 2014

At Table


There is no land in all the world
so pleasant as the table
set around with friends and food
whatsoever we are able
on a instant to lay out
for whosoever gathers round
to share the cheer and join the sound.

At first the chatter, lay the plates,
final touches, sit you down,
thank the Lord of bread and wine,
pass the supper, and we dine!

Oh, load the boards until they creak
and fill the seats and pass the cup
and settle in for joy and sup!

The Academy

I work within a beehive
of learning and of toil
I see the pupils pressing
and the faculty recoil.

I send and answer missives
which are largely froth and foam
and I break at noon for luncheon
and I break at six for home.

To what end are all these striving?
To what goal behind this game?
They are selling off their youthfulness
for letters on their name.

Makes no matter how you struggle,
you must all obey the same
cruel diktat that demands of you
more letters on your name.

If you think you reach the summit,
have a care and guard your fame,
there are millions queued behind you
for the letters on your name.

When your years are spent with sighing
and the Reaper makes his claim,
 R.I.P. is all I wish you,
final letters on your name.

Sketches

He was an old man
and he asked for change.
I didn't have any
(though I had bills,
and canned food in my pack)
but I honestly told him
I had no change,
bade him good-day,
and rode on.

A middle-aged Indian,
brown as a nut,
lean as a whip,
holding a please-help-and
God-bless placard
didn't make eye contact with me.
I must have looked too white
or stingy, I guess.
I rolled down the window
and gave him a dollar;
"Hey bud," I said,
"use it for God's glory."
It was the best I could say,
though not the best I could do.
"I'm always with God," he said.
The light changed,
I drove away.

What is this world
but the set of a drama
where you do not know the script?
It is a vivid stage,
and the other players
sometimes actually need you
(we are not acting here)
and what if you
forget your lines?