what is truth and what is compassion

Yesterday I met a man wearing the road on his face

long haired and dirty, with a backpack loaded with possesions

he said he was hungry and could I spare some money for him to buy a meal

I declined

I began to drive away, cursing my hardness

that made my schedule

more important than his hunger

and I thought

the guilt of this man’s hunger will

sit like a lead ball on my conscience all day

damn the schedule

I found him

I offered to buy him a meal

he declined

he said “to be honest, I’m full and I don’t want to throw away the food you would buy me”

as I drove away

I reflected on the lessons to be had

what is truth?

what is compassion?

both are murky

neither are easy to give

but grateful that I did not have to bear

his false hunger as a burden

knowing that what drove him to lie

was a life very different from my own

grateful that he shared the truth though it exposed him

as I drove to my beautiful, warm home

and unpacked my many groceries

 

Echoes

when I read my old words

hailing like an echo from years ago

they bring a memory

like a fresh face

dewy from the grave

sometimes these words

are like old friends

but I don’t always like it

sometimes it makes me moody

these memories beautiful and sad

creeping and crawling into my today

sometimes I think

the dead should perhaps be dead

 

Chopin and Liszt

their music is pure and each note a silver drop of water

interlaced and swimming in fountains of clarity

their sins forgiven by the beauty they left

pages of arpeggios strung together

marches and strings of triplets and runs and decadance

that erases the love and goodness they bestowed

or the malicious hurt they imposed

and to lose oneself in their music

is to play the best part of a human