outwardly, my ways were simple
even austere or ascetic

my modest apparel
considered drab or seedy

still I was becoming

wary of self-negation
that denies the sweet
Bread of Life

*   *   *

when John from Tri-State Megabucks phoned the office
to report the latest week’s winning number, he asked
in an attempt to be friendly, if I had my ticket in hand

so I replied, “no, it’s against my religion” and then
sensed a stupefaction on his end of the line
there might be another position on this business

O Holy One
keep me tender in reaching across differences
where a holier-than-thou attitude accomplishes
nothing more than standing in faith

*   *   *

if there weren’t so much insufficiency all around

the homeless, unemployed, imprisoned,
impoverished, illiterate

quickly overwhelm
apart from family and spiritual community

within my neighborhood
how little I alone can do
against needs deeper
than those seen

where any sense of great inadequacy provokes
a hardening wall

while judging myself harshly
to my own consternation
of how I’m lacking

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set, click here.



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