Least/Greatest or On finishing working with earth on a summer night

I've become used to
my poverty; grabbing
thrusting and thirsting
for good things that
seem few and far between.

When I look at the man
On the street he says
"I'm as good as you..."
And I agree; he is at least
As good as me.

I've become used to
my wealth; the grandness
of small superlatives
for which it takes an exquisite
eye and a huge heart.

When I see the man
In the suit he says
"You too can do this..."
And I agree; I can also be
Weighed down by things.

Is it the gravel and dirt
Pests and bugs and bites
And burns and long nights
That make a man poor

But I have washed my fingers
(Underneath the nails)
Not because I have to
Nor for the sake of yearning
For a fantasy life that never

Is it the comfort of a good bath
Trees and vines to own and tend,
And eves when no worries wend,
That makes a man rich

I have looked at each
Of the stars in the sky and said
(Like the philosophers and fools)
"Give me a night and Africa
has less diamonds in her


Against the size of say
The heart of Jupiter
A diamond whose dimension
Exceeds that of the Earth --
Who is rich then --


  1. Two verses popped into my head while reading your poem.

    "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare." (Isaiah 55:2)

    "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures." (Psalm 36:8)

  2. That's some dread bread!

  3. Oh, and another...

    "May my soul be filled, as if with marrow and fatness..." (Psalm 62:6)

    Spiritual fatness is no guile
    Its digestion needs no bile!


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