Rags and riches

Wealth is a very subjective term. Are the people we think to be rich, really that rich? What is the definition of being rich anyway? Is it something that can be measured only in monetary terms? A lot of questions there, and I am probably getting too philosophical about this. Anyway, quite a few posts which I saw in the recent past prompted me to think along these lines. This quote in particular. I am not able to dig out those other posts now (I know, my bad). If you find something relevant, I would love to know. Here is a poem which is the end result of my thoughts. Critiques are welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

The fall came in, and the winds rushed in,
the foliage rustled – tussled and torn by the lusty gust.
The old man he, dressed in rags-
raked the leaves, and purged the turf.

Chilled to the bone, with clothes all torn,
he swept the soil, his body wept in his toil.
All for the ten pence, to pay for his hunger so intense-
he cleansed the ground, never his own self.

A honk in the distance, a glimmer of a limo-
harbinger of a soul – plush and pompous.
Greed in his eyes, and a smirk on his lips-
a breed so fed, his neck was a myth.

Riding his pride, he rolled down the glass
a scowl on his face, he spat on the grass-
a goo of vermilion, from the innards of a vermin.
The ground- it was stained, by someone so tainted.

A moment of silence, an exchange of gazes-
one full of contempt, the other, nonchalance.
A sliver of silver he tossed, it tumbled to the old man’s feet-
“Take that tip, and clean that stain”

The grey wise eyes, their shine not lost-
what did they hold? Apathy or sympathy?
“I need no tip, I’m paid for my work-
keep your silver, and cleanse your soul”.

Wonder one must- who was rich and who poor;
Ponder one must, how to measure one’s treasure.
Old man he, dressed in rags, poor by money, rich by heart-
while the gaudy bloke, rich by money, and money alone.

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8 thoughts on “Rags and riches

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  1. There is indeed no clear definition of rich and poor. It’s all relative, that’s what I think…

  2. The world itself is virtual and so are the belongings .. what real is .. cannot be established. Well , this may have gone beyond the topic but then it is a gist of all the rational thinking ๐Ÿ™‚
    Still rich would mean the knowledgeable as he/she would be the only one content in whatever he/she has …
    beautifully expressed ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The poem reminded me of a story my grandmom had told me. A king conquering land and riches is proceeding on an elephant while a sage sees and hurls a coin at the king. The enraged king gets down and reasons the sage. The sage tells him that the king on conquering distant lands and riches is still hungry . The hurl of the coin hurt him .Just imagine the hurt the king had caused the people whom he killed and looted their wealth. He had caused so much pain. The King realized his mistake and spent his years in the welfare of his subjects. and wealth is a relative term. well expressed.

  4. Vaisakh,

    a. I liked your poem. Somehow, the mental image of an old man on the street invariably makes me think of Bille Jean by Michael Jackson, because that’s how I’d like things to happen. Flip the coin and the man’s a millionaire.
    b.Your blog looks super now. A suggestion, if I may – would be great to see a bit of you (perhaps the about.me with your nice photo) at the top of the sidebar. ๐Ÿ˜€ More personal.

    Thank you. Great read!

    1. Ah! of course.. the King of Pop ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the great feedback, Vidya. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had tried the about.me with my photo.. but it seemed like the photo was too big, and there was no way for me to resize it ๐Ÿ˜ So I decided to keep the photo in the ‘About’ page..

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