Lynn W. Petty

Gold Star - 5,015 Points (3/29/28 / Newport Beach, California)

I Walked The Walk - Poem by Lynn W. Petty



I walked my morning walk, and met an old
And bearded black man who was sitting on
The sidewalk, leaning back against a wall.
Attempting to step over his outstretched,
Impeding limbs, he said to me in clear
And lucid voice, 'Are we not all the same?
Are we not all the same? ' he asked again.
A little startled by his inquiry,
I said, that we are not the same, that we
Are very different, from fingertips
To faces, different religions let
Alone our races. No, I said, that we
Are not the same, so why do you persist?
'To make you understand. Does not the same
Quintessence course my veins as courses yours?
Do not all souls speak with the same grammar
And syntax of one spiritual mind?
Is not each soul a fragment of this whole
Stupendous Universe? Would not all souls,
Combined, reflect the face of God? Does not
The Angel Death put on our life the sting
Of death at birth? Are we not all the same? '
Responding with a No! I saw him smile
A slight all-knowing smile and, then he asked,
'Just what do you possess in this wide world? '
I confidently said, I have my life,
And all the things therein that I possess.
'Insatiable the vanity of man.
He comes into this world with only his
Corporeal originality;
He lives, he dies, he leaves it all behind,
Including his corporeal remains,
Departing this journey with less than that
With which he entered in this life, despite
His rage, petitions, pageantry and wealth.
Dissolving in the furnace flame of death,
He leaves his shrinking ego seen within
The mist of his evaporating self.
Thus, man must pass away, his name is gone;
He perishes from record and from mind;
All future generations have no thought
Nor recollection of his pomp and might.
Each age is but a volume to be cast
Aside. All monuments to him are gone;
His life a tale one takes from history books
Which lie upon the dusty shelves of time.
Why, you do not possess your next pulse beat.
Now, tell me, once again, what you possess! '
Profound, I said, with weakened argument.
But, logic still prevails. Look at our skin,
Therein is where my reasoning exists.
Is not your color black and I am white?
There is dissimilarity between
Us all. I ended with an air of pride.
He looked at me disdainfully and said,
'Our souls are woven from the self-same thread,
From different dye lots, that is true but, are
Our souls not woven on the same life skein?
Regardless of the hue are they not from
The same lamb's wool, the cotton plant? The source
Of fiber of our souls is just the same.
Look past this manifest illusion, flesh
And tell me if the truth be seen or not.'
I saw and, what I saw confounded me.
I saw the textile of the weave of soul.
'Now tell me, are we not the same? ' he asked.

Topic(s) of this poem: souls

Form: Free Verse


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Are we not all the same?

Comments about I Walked The Walk by Lynn W. Petty

  • Bri Edwards (1/23/2017 6:33:00 PM)


    i especially enjoyed:

    ......from fingertips
    To faces, different religions let
    Alone our races.................faces/races

    [but then: No, I said, that we
    Are not the same, so why do you persist? ...............i think 'lose the comma after said.] ha ha.

    favorite lines so far:

    Departing this journey with less than that
    With which he entered in this life, despite
    His rage, petitions, pageantry and wealth.
    Dissolving in the furnace flame of death,
    He leaves his shrinking ego seen within
    The mist of his evaporating self.

    BUT:

    All monuments to him are gone;
    His life a tale one takes from history books
    Which lie upon the dusty shelves of time.............Lynn, the black man says this and more (before this) . he seems, in a few breaths, to say all is gone of a person when the person dies (except a soul i believe) , but he ALSO says that a person may be recalled in a tale. and, how true this is! ! ! ! for some at least. even 'men' who predated written accounts of their lives, live on to some degree when their bones or other artifacts from their lives are revealed by anthropologists. and now, with electronic gizmos, the 'sky is the limit' as to what future generations may learn about departed humans. SOME humans.

    ok, i haven't finished reading. what will that black man say next? and what shall be I 's response? ? ?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Look past this manifest illusion, flesh
    And tell me if the truth be seen or not.' .........manifest illusion? ? i'm not sure i catch the man's drift here!

    finally, a word i wanted to check on, using Google, of course: manifest

    man·i·fest1
    ˈmanəˌfest/
    adjective
    adjective: manifest

    1.
    clear or obvious to the eye or mind.
    the system's manifest failings
    synonyms: obvious, clear, plain, apparent, evident, patent, palpable, distinct, definite, blatant, overt, glaring, barefaced, explicit, transparent, conspicuous, undisguised, unmistakable, noticeable, perceptible, visible, recognizable
    his manifest lack of interest
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    i hope you parted friends! or at least equals.

    bri :)

    Lynn, if i remember to, i'll put into a showcase. even though i think almost no one reads them. :) :)
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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Poem Edited: Thursday, January 28, 2016


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