selective kindness…

selective kindness

when the misery
we see
is in eyes
that look
like
ours
our hearts
open up
and
we hear
there
but
for the grace of
that’s
when we
offer up
a small portion
of
self-pity
to another
such
self-centered behavior
no doubt
feels
good for a while
but
like
a child’s
out of sight
out
of mind
stage of development
the misery
is soon
forgotten

and who is my neighbor…

who is my neighbor

a frozen body
in the fetal position
lies on the sidewalk
before life’s final hours
a vibrant human being
but the death of compassion
in humankind has
averted eyes of concern
to deny what’s known
that human fate can be altered
no one needs to die alone
frozen on the cold hard pavement

make your own decisions…

making your own decisions

got no angels
to
talk
to
today
just
the old man
down
the street
holding
a brown bag
talking
about
how jesus
has
saved
his soul
can’t understand
how
some
homeless
souls
can see
the wonders of heaven
among
the city’s sweepings
for
i’ve lost
such
visions
or
perhaps
best
labelled
fantasies
life
does that
to
some of us
the veneer of promises
is
stripped away
by
reality
leaving us
with
the bare
roots
of
life’s truths
but
you don’t need
to
listen
to my words
for
that
would be
another case
of
blind
belief

torn pages from a dictionary…

torn pages from a ditionary

although
officially labelled
homeless
he
and
his partner
doris
live beneath
the third street bridge
and
have done so
for the past
ten years
most folks
in continuously connected
corporate housing projects
the suburbs
surrounding the bridge
are aware
of this fact
which
has apparently
and
consistently
escaped
census takers
since
no one
has taken
the time
to incorporate
their numbers
into the state’s quest
for more delegates
to
meaningless political conventions
a
true sign
of their
outcast position
in society
be that
as it may
said
homeless people
have been
strongly encouraged
to find
a home
home
as defined by some
fat dude

in city hall
who
not only
has had
new solar electric
speed monitoring signs
installed on his street
but
also
has had street lines
repainted
to conform
to his version
of
eden
in any case
he had
officers of the law
assist
with the relocation
of
homeless people
unfortunately
relocation
meant
dislodge
so
once again
the solution
is
at the expense
of
those designated
as
the beneficiaries
and
of course
runs counter
to
common sense

carved in stone…

carved in stone

an ancient message
carved onto the pāhoehoe
much like
lovers do today
upon the bark
of stately trees
billy loves mary
and to the right
just below this
declaration
of
undying love
mary loves robert
we needn’t work
too hard to complete
that story
but
these petroglyphs
are undeciphered
so we impose
meaning
to them
just as we
impose
meaning upon
the homeless faces
we see
along the street
his ragged clothes
means
he doesn’t care
her shopping cart
means
she’s a worthless thing
his comforter of newspapers
means
he refuses to work
but
if i carved
the look upon
your face
as you stare
at them
onto the pāhoehoe
what would
the tourists
say
about
you

https://slpmartin.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/carved-in-stone.mp3

conversation with a madman…

a disheveled man
just outside the market
collecting recyclable
bottles and cans
shuttling his mobile
stainless steel
wireframed home
from one bin
to the other
young
but
aged by war
it would seem
given
his
desert camouflage pants
and jacket
he did not
ask
for anything
but
he looked
in need
of a meal
so
i gave him
some cash
in return
he shared
his political views
and
concise concerns
for the welfare
of the world
as i entered
a banker type
leaving
the market
commented to me
how
horrible
his day was
with
stock prices
going down

remnants…

though cut
from the same fabric
they did not
fit the design
so they were
scattered along
the streets
and alley ways
some were stored
and piled high
in refugee camps
but
if woven together
with love
and care
they would  make
a very fine
coat of many colors
the type
i’m told
preferred
by
god

i’m taking requests so…

what instrument shall I play for you
shall it be a magic flute
with melodic tones
that drift you into an even deeper sleep
where you can claim
this to be
the best of all possible worlds
or shall i play a song
that stirs your soul
a march
perhaps
that will let you see
the world around you
where slavery still exists
and hate burns deep
into the souls of men
like the searing heat
of a branding iron
or shall i play
a clever little melody
with notes to let you see
a child’s badly bruised face
from a loving parent
or the makeup covered scars
of your neighbor’s adorable wife
or perhaps you would prefer
some blues
to help you see
the deep stench of misery
of a ragged homeless person
or a flag caressing a parent’s coffin 
while small hands are left behind
whatever you choose
please tell me the key
so as to unlock
the heart within you