What is left of man or mountain
When their centers have collapsed?
What is left of truth or trusting
When the faith has been betrayed?
What is left of hope or humor
When the promise can’t be kept?
Yet the mantra, and the manner,
Must be said – and must be glad!
What is left of strength or striving
When the lungs and heart are stopped?
What is left of brains or beauty
When the skull and face are crushed?
What is left of grace or gaiety
When the limbs contorted lie?
Yet the deal, and yet the dollar,
Must be made – and must be had!
What is left of song or sadness
When the spirit is departed?
What is left of love or laughter
When the life has crept away?
What is left of faith or fountain
When their waters are dried up?
Yet the play, and so the player,
Must be played – and must be mad!
2005 November 6.
Brooklyn, New York.
Arjun Janah < firstname.lastname@example.org >