small hands pray life
into a battered bird
the fervent child
a kind word –
barely holding it together
a homeless man speaks
of her heart
This time Carpe Diem “Spiritual Ways” #2 Unconditional Love is about, as it says, unconditional love, so I thought, apart from haiku, I would share an older poem. It is from my soon-to-be-released book Sparrow, (shameless plug) and is written in my husband’s voice. It was during his trip across Asia to Europe in the sixties.
Kindness of Strangers
If you see a sign that says,
‘Water Unsuitable for Human Consumption’,
it is unwise to wash your grapes there.
Especially if you have not taken your hepatitis tablets.
Naturally I nearly died. I hitchhiked to Kabul in the back
of a fish truck sliding around on top of the fish, covered, as I was,
in shit and flies and woke up in the hospital with someone
waving a paper in front of me, saying, ‘Sign here.’
The man in the next bed said, in quiet English,
‘Do not sign that paper. It says they do not
have to take responsibility for you. They will
let you die.’ So I did not sign that paper.
There was a little boy with a goat in the room.
He was trying to swap the goat for the life of his brother.
It seemed the doctor did not need a goat
but I slept before I heard the outcome.
When I woke they were getting me ready to fly to Teheran.
The man in the next bed reached over. ‘Take these,’ he said
‘They will bring you luck,’ and he pressed into my hand
some Islamic worry beads much smoothed with prayer.
It isn’t often in your life that you receive a pure gift,
one from a stranger whom you will never meet again.
The man was older than me. He will have died by now.
But his heart is still warming my pocket.
An amazing experience, don’t you think?
Not sure who left this wonderful photo on my camera. Either my daughter Hana, or her husband Evan.