Saturday, November 14, 2009

Will Work for Dirt


The homeless man down on the corner
carries a sign that says I’m on the road
and hungry—will work for food
and while he can say love
in 14 different languages
passersby carefully don’t meet his eye
except my mother when we stop
at the light She says here’s a dollar
it’s all I have and when we drive away
she says My father gave up his violin
for some land and a mule to plow it
with and then I understand
we all of us dream for earth
that we can call our own
except that homeless man
and he is excellent at saying
goodbye

I've worked on an article about gratitude this month for a local magazine, and I thought the photo of the "hens and chickens" was apt since they freely multiply, just like a gift given in the spirit of love.
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." That was said by philosopher and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Eric Hoffer.
The sun is rising over the horizon and shining in my eyes. Some of my blessings today are that I'm sober and thankful for this room I call my own, for my fat beagles and two kittens, and some earth to call my own, even if the bank owns it really, it is mine to plant and plow.
I'm excited that a friend of mine who drank again wants me to sponsor her, because I hear surrender in her voice.
Yesterday's Twenty-Four Hour a Day book had a meditation that touched me:
"In our time of meditation, we again seem to hear: 'Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' Again and again we seem to hear God saying this to us. 'Come unto Me' for the solution of every problem, for the overcoming of every temptation, for the calming of every fear, for all our need, physical, mental, or spiritual, but mostly 'come unto Me' for the strength we need to live with peace of mind and the power to be useful and effective."

Chris Alba © 2009

12 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Chris, I don't know if you realize this, but You're on a Renaissance surge. You have extra sensory perception going on right now, and a whole lot more connectivity as well. I love that quote from Eric Hoffer. Appropriate. I love your mother's words. Deeply Wise.

I love how you are reaching out and finding friends, compassion, creativity bursts, and God.

I wish you a great Thanksgiving.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Oh Chris; to meet you face to face would be bliss...you are amazing and this post just shows that; you are amazingly full of life, love and I like you would work for dirt indeed! Just a little patch...with a tree!

Hugs to you,
Gabi

Nessa said...

I too am grateful for my piece of dirt.

Long Overdue

Steve E. said...

So many REALLY good posts around today, and YOURS is certainly one OF them!

I enjoy SO much reading about God, Gratitude, sobriety, willingness to do the right thing.

There was a time when I would have given my violin away for a bottle of Vodka--and I DID! But finally got it back. After playing it for more than 60 years, I'm glad it is still mine to use...and I DO use it!

Love, and Peace, Chris!

Brian Miller said...

great post...i love talking with the homeless guys. behind each there is a story.

love that quote as well...very true. i live a blessed life in many a way. many who have less see their lives as blessed more often than i have. still growing...

happy saturday!

big Jenn said...

Gratitude moves me through everything. It's what keeps me going. jeNN

the walking man said...

It is always the person who can love in fourteen different languages that is invisible except to them who have no need of hearing love spoken.

Karen said...

This is a wonderful poem, Chris. You are such a talent, and I'm so happy to have found your work.

Your meditation sustained me through my recent illness and through the tension of waiting for my youngest to give birth. I was sincerely heavily-laden until I gave it over. Thanks be that we know to do this!

Blessings to you.

Tall Kay said...

I loved the story of your mom giving a dollar to the homeless man. I often look the other way and avoid looking into those eyes too. Gratitude multiples our blessing so quickly, that the math is hard to master! I am also grateful for your friend who is ready to surrender...God picked you to lead her toward the light!

dirt clustit said...

I loved this post

especially the quote from Hoffer (it definitely rings true in my life)

Shadow said...

blessings are many and plentiful. if only we take the time to recognise them...

Syd said...

Thanks Chris. There are indeed many blessings in this life.

Albert Einstein Quotes