A Poem Of Empathy

my shoes are shiny
black
leather and expensive
i look rich and i speak
like a true gentleman

last night i went of the house
without my
Man Friday
and i wore a mask of the
beggar
and i erased my first name

i am Tonio
the mendicant

and i sit upon a corner
with a can on my hand
begging for
mercy

and you pass by
and you never recognize me
and you spit on me

and then i wrote a poem
about the matter
and you say it is the best poem
i have written
and that you pity the beggar
and that you like to do
something about all the beggars
in this world
make a foundation
fund a cause

and i stop reading the poem
and then
i begin to ask
'who are you? '

by RIC BASTASA

Comments (5)

How can the poet pay attention to politics when he can see a young girl standing at a little distance? There is a politician who is having much knowledge regarding the political world and on the other hand there is a traveler who has gained a lot of knowledge after having experiences in life but the poet does not seem interested in politics and tourism, for him the force of love is stronger than other worldly matters. He is bewitched by the beauty of a girl. He has preferred youth and love instead of politics. The last two lines are lovely. The poem is simple but portrays reality.
I reckon this poem may well have influenced the Beatles' when I saw her standing there. The beautiful simplicity of its structure and words captures the real concerns of our human hearts. It is to feel passionate love and preferably when young enough for such glory to have physical expression. With brilliant brevity the poet uses the jaded eye of an experienced and educated man to express both regret for the passage of time and the meaningless of power grabbing politics when set against the joy of love returned.
This poems lacks the concrete detail and arresting metaphor that I normally crave, yet it gives me goose pimples.
I first heard this poem as a teenager and loved it. Brilliant sentiment and humour.
nice poem...............................