Saturday, February 28, 2009

True Believer . . .

It has been quite a while since a poem was posted in these pages. . . but it is not only about the photos and reflections, right ? If you take a look at Rebekah Westover's blog, which you can get to by clicking the link in the list of blogs I follow at upper right here, there is a sad story about all the rapes that are happening in the Congo. . . and about efforts being made to raise funds to bring relief to some of this agony. There are some stories that make one want to tear one's eyes out, for all the awful offense one's eyes can cause just by reading the daily news. Which reminded me of this piece written a few moons ago. . .
.........True Believer
Homer Stern told me a story once
About a man he met in Klamath Falls, Oregon one day.
The man was on a bench in the city park
With a message scrawled on the sidewalk
In front of him in yellow chalk.
It said, "Please help, I am blind."
Homer sat down beside him
And without beating around the bush
Asked him what had happened to his eyes.
The man answered directly:
"I plucked them out. The Good Book says
That if your eyes offend you
You should pluck them out."
Homer asked him how his eyes had offended him.
He replied as follows: "I took a vacation once,
In Europe, see, and it was the best time I ever had.
Every place I went was more beautiful than the last.
But then it was time to come home.
My flight arrived in Newark, New Jersey.
When I got out of the airport
And startod looking around,
My eyes started to pain me.
When I couldn't take it any longer
I plucked one of them out. Hurt like hell.
But I done what the Good Book said.
I got by alright on one eye until the day
I went to see a film about Native Americans
And what we immigrant Americans did to them.
When I came out of the theatre I looked around.
The Earth was paved as far as I could see.
Nothing but cars. Popcorn and plastic in the lobby.
The other eye had to go.
It was offending me right and left.
Everything I saw was an insult to the Earth.
A doctor in the hospital asked me if I was crazy.
And I said : No sir, I'm just a true believer."

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