This is just poetry. It won't save you, but it may locate you so that a rescue party can be sent out. — Dean Blehert

Friday, April 10, 2009


We are here to give. Even the beggar,
busy being a self-fueling belly,
can only give. He gives his street
an ugliness, a shadowed intricacy
that must be looked at or away from --

in either case requiring a decision
until habit digs a hole in my universe
and slips him into it before I can see him,
as I, too, become free of decision
and rich with shadowed intricacy.

[Note: The point of this poem is, of course, whatever you make of it, but for me it's not a criticism of the beggar for being an unpleasant presence. It's about the way those things we are unwilling to confront -- and unwilling to admire -- take root in our own universes, that is, in our lives, like weeds, and proliferate. Probably the beggar himself is the result of all the things the beggar could not/would not confront.

Similarly, as we blank out parts of the world (like homeless people with hands out), they become part of us, our world becoming increasingly vague and shadowy. This is not a plea to give alms to the poor. It's a suggestion that we not shut down our awareness of the world as a defense against it. I sometimes give the beggar something. Other times I don't. But I don't look away. After all, the guy is doing a terrific job of being a beggar. I can admire that. Also, just letting them be there, granting them the fact that they are there, that SOMEONE is there, has a positive effect. It reminds them that they are people too.]

Dean Blehert
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