I Deserve Nothing!
I was thinking this afternoon and there came to my mind my childhood days. When I would be called from among my congregated schoolmates to come forward and recite a poem written by my class teacher. In front of the huge gathering I would stand, with my hands firmly strapped by my side, in the presence of every distinguished person in my little town, looking on to the glittering face of my mother, and say: "Good morning ladies and gentlemen. The title of my poem is . . . the title of my poem is . . . Pussy cat! Pussy cat! Where have you been? I have been to London to see the Queen! Thank you." Oh yes, those were the days, the very good ole days!
But today I have grown up to become a man. My very adorable facial features have long been lost and totally forgotten. No one is extending invitations to me to recite a poem or even sing a song anymore. So I created a stage, an imaginary one, and stood myself upon it. And I started declaring my deeds and everything I had wanted to become. But soon the character became not so much like me anymore with all the spices of exaggeration that were being used. So I picked up a pen and began writing a poem, about someone I hardly know, which I am presenting in the three parts below. (Be warned, this space may turn into a poem repository sooner or later.)
Part I: Behold, my magnificence!
Within the four walls of every fortified city noble men bow down to me
Valiant warriors, even the bravest among them, do not speak to disagree
At the battlefield I exhibit my gallantry, my grandeur at the city gates
Songs of praise women sing unto me, this the prince's soul certainly hates
The most beautiful among the daughters of the emperors I have for myself
Word about my handsomeness has spread beyond the inhabited earth itself
The king declines my offer to recline at my table and drink some wine
For fear that his wisdom may be revealed to be like that of a swine
Who is there breathing under the sun that is fit enough to advise me?
Gross foolishness I have proved the counsel of every living creature to be
My magnanimousness has overtaken the height of many mountains
My riches abound like sweet waters springing out of many fountains
Just a little while longer and the mysterious elixir of life I will find
Death itself I will conquer and mankind's bondage to it I will unwind
I shall raise up my scepter and every soldier will lay down his sword
War will cease to exist and in every land absolute peace will be restored
Part II: Give heed to true wisdom
Listen to me O you vulnerable sons and daughters of earthly men
Pay attention to my sayings, to the words being scribbled with my pen
Did you not hear the wise King Solomon say, "Everything is vanity"?
Why then are you living the way you do as if tomorrow is a certainty?
Look! Understanding I came to live with in the house of Great Knowledge
Bull tongues made out of pure gold and silver I used to plow my tillage
Not a single soul became aggrieved of my judgments in all my kingdom
But in all my accumulated knowledge I did not come to find true wisdom
Ah! Many times I heard my servants call upon one who is King of eternity
Only in the twilight of my day have I come to know that it was the Almighty
He stretches out his hand and satisfies the desire of every living flesh
But those that reject His counsel become like herrings in a fishing mesh
He laid the foundations of the earth and called up into existence the sun
But all the days of my youth I did not endeavor to come to know this One
His many wondrous works I saw but His existence I failed to discover
This very One the sons of Asaph called the Most High, His name Jehovah
Part III: My pathetic last words
Sagacity became my seat, insight my footstool, discernment another
Yet I cannot tell where I was before forming in the belly of my mother
Was I not naked when I came out of my old lady's womb?
And will I be any different when I head forth into my lonely tomb?
What makes me better than these filthy hungry dogs in the street?
Or was it because of my hard work that everyday I had enough to eat?
Today I know that I am nothing but an utter fool in this life
For immense wealth I had but a little affection I gave not to my wife
May she become the better half of the least one in my household
For I have proved worse than the most disgusting thing yet to be told
Here I am standing upon this ledge high above the city towers
Looking forward to nothing but the final pains in my dying members
May the last drops of energy in me become like the wings of a dove
So that I may fly quickly to Hades concealed from the heavens above
This moment I am becoming bread to the fishes like a fisherman's troll
O worthless my vast knowledge will prove to be in the valley of Sheol