why are some men born 
with minds that earn degrees 
the loving cups 
gilded plaques 
grace their study walls 
hide the cracks 
while their genius is turned 
to works of tyranny then 
off to market to market 
go selling these 

with words so fiery and persuasive 
they steal cunningly 
riches no one can exceed 

and why are some men born 
with a fate of poverty 
one firm bed 
for a swollen back 
year by year 
the bodies wracked while 
their obedience is had 
with gradual defeat 
by the pace by the pace 
and the urgency 

through a muddled thought 
they phrase it 
God knows we're deceived 
barter for 
what they need 

and where they go 
disdain and jeering 
for fools to call 
the noble peasantry 

o how it puzzles me 

I pressed flat the accordion pleats 
that had gathered in his cotton sleeves 
while he thumbed 
yes thumbed I wouldn't say caressed 

the final piece 
a mountain's crest 
soon to reply assuredly 

o for man aged ninety years 
no words to waste on sermons 
he'd be pleased to answer 
short and sincere 

girl there's a nonsense 
in all these heaven measures 
it's a heathen creed 
so your grandma says 
but better to live by... 
drink it all in before it's dry 

he ended there with a rattle 
cough cough 
I took away the long gone cold coffee cup 
as a trail of Camel ashes fell 
on the floor