hands of the begger….

outside the hotel
at nightfall
sat a woman
in a door way
of a closed shop
sitting alone in the night
on this half deserted street
at the gates of the medina
where earlier hundreds
moved with purpose
to lunch appointments
closing business deals
gathering wealth
like bees gather honey
but now they were home
warm and sheltered from the night
but she
she has come out
as if embarrassed to be seen
in the light of day
asking for alms
for her generation
did not do so lightly
only in dire need
would one make such a request
and once no one would have refused
such a call for mercy
for they understood what courage it took
to make such a request
but things are modern now here in tunis
and many do not recall such acts of bravery
but i a foreigner understood this
for i have read their history
and so as i place the coin
into her warm hand
she grasp mine with hers
and i was blessed ten fold


he lives day-to-day
each evening he adorns
the same worn leather stool
as if it were his lover
caressing the foam on the beer
as if gently kissing a woman’s lips
his dimly lit remembrances of today
fade quickly as she moves to the silver pole
the delilah his mom warned him about
but she’s just woman whose husband split
when the baby was born with a palsy
so now she’s doing what she has to do
cause hospitals will save the child’s life
but ain’t gonna feed it once it’s out the door
with no other jobs in this wind swept valley
of poverty and commercial decay
their nightly fantasies pay the bills
as he places his silver tipped boots
on the brass bar
as cold as her heart is to each of them
he breathes quickly just like ever other night
singing aloud along with redneck mother
as she removes the last fibers of their civility
he can’t imagine anything finer
and doubts she’s got a problem in the world
up there making him happy
like all women should
getting all his hard-earned cash
just for a little shake of this and that
and he wonders how such people
get to have such an easy life
how they come to be so free
not tied down to a 40 hour week
or uh eight-hour day
and why some folks seem
to care about issues
which he judges  to
      have no answers
      or any directions
over beer and whiskey
he solves those concerns
or of any importance
to anyone outside
the sphere of his smoke rings

valentine’s day wish…

ooh… honey
i wish i was
one of those channeling folks
you know
that spiritualism thing
where i could have a civil conversation
with someone to help me write a love poem
but without that voodoo trance thing
lord knows i see that enough on sunday
but honey i would love that automatic writing
from someone like browning
or that mary shelly woman
to help me say
all the things you mean to me
that kind of materialization wouldn’t upset me
one little bit
just words of love flowing from my pen
but as you know
that ain’t gonna happen
so here’s your box of chocolates
same as last year
not the gift but the giver
oh…and i’m sorry bout the missing piece
but you know
how i love
chocolate covered


The above poem grew out of a question posed by Mirella . Vist her blog!