Sunday, March 9, 2014


Some spin the globe and frown or smile and say,
“I think I’ll try out Singapore today.”
And by the afternoon, they’re flying high,
And only they know well the reason why.

But others you might see, who race to catch
The train or bus, or just a minute snatch
To run, when they’re allowed, to sit and pee.
How many, short of sleep, we daily see!

While both are captives of the juggernaut,
One rides above. The one below is caught
Among the horde that draws the chariot’s wheels.
One wields the whip – the other, whipping feels.

And yet, observe – how few are slacking off.
They pull and push, and though the path is rough,
They persevere.  So pyramids were built,
While pharaohs watched, without remorse or guilt.

For whips cannot procure our diligence,
Nor tap our conscience or our common sense.
The habits learned in youth, we still display
While duly working, every working day.

And as they work, the ones who work the most,
Are also those who very rarely boast.
And if they raise their voices to complain,
They quickly learn how surely this brings pain.

It’s natural to ask for reasons why.
But these are answered with the usual lie
That changes with the seasons, though the same.
Why question those, who show no trace of shame?

The lessons, from a life of labor, learned,
Are like the brands, upon the cattle, burned.
And these remain with us until we die.
The humbled, quiet, watch the braggarts lie.

How many schemes, by those of means, are spun?
How many ventures, gamely lost or won?
The worker has a job – and if that’s lost,
What else remains?  Who dares to pay that cost?

And yet, in labor, even slaves take pride.
Who still has legs, does not another ride.
With mouths to feed and bodies small to clothe,
To whore herself, a woman still is loath.

They say,
“The middle class has morals, not the rich.
The poor have none – they don’t know which is which.”
That's half a lie.  Although the rich are rotten,
The poor degraded, right is not forgotten.

The middle classes bow before the rich.
And some, for more of affluence, may itch.
But what they still, of ethics, may retain,
Has roots in that, which once for all was plain.

2014 March 9th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York

No comments: