Ode To A Mendicant Poem by Amar Agarwala

Ode To A Mendicant

Rating: 5.0

He owned no fabled treasures
Nor the kingdom of a king,
No horses or elephants
Nor a catapult or a sling.

He said he owned the blue skies
Birds, animals & the trees,
Heavens had legated them
With its rivers & the seas.

Not a thread on his bare back
Belongings a pleasant smile,
He carried it far & wide
When he walked the barefoot mile.

Taken for a mendicant
Who had no home nor a stead,
He never owned a penny
Cared not for water or bread.

He greeted townsfolk like he
Greeted the thunder & rain,
Oblivious to comforts
So immune to loss and gain.

He blessed every passer-by
He blessed every beast on road,
He prayed for shrubs & blossoms
He prayed for the yew tree's load.

There were times children taunted
Strangers took him for some thief,
Housemaids were suspicious
And they refused him relief.

He knew 'twas his attire
Bony frame & beard long,
No curses spilled his parched lips
Except for an ominous song -

Oh mortal seek not treasures!
This world is a mystic inn,
Be snared not by vanity
For the heavens lie within.

A handful still adored him
Yet most over passed him by,
He wished them all his choicest
Blessings that heavens imply.

One dark day he went away
And then was seen not again,
Known lanes and pathways he trod
Seemed bare in the sun & rain.

Folks longed for benediction
Saintly songs & hymns he sang,
His gentle smote on doorways
That in blessed echoes rang.

Been eons, now folks say that -
He was an angel in guise,
They lament at their naivete
Long it took them to be wise.

Now they've cast a sepulcher
And call it the - Seer's Gate,
Townsfolk line up for blessings
So that their pains may abate.

Call it mirthful mockery
Or ironic mankind's fate,
For they fathom life backwards
Discern it never on date.

Ode To A Mendicant
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: ode

Mendicant's are essentially beggars who roam our streets and pathways. In India, they are a dime a dozen. Yet, somewhere in their midst often lies hidden a gem or two, which our eyes fail to discern, like it fails to fathom so much mysticism and magic that unfolds every minute before it.

We are so used to magic being manifest flashily, that subtle magic often eludes our sight. This is a story of a mystic mendicant, and how men realize it late that there was something special about him. And like it is common for humanity, reverence and fame is often bestowed posthumously.

Why are we such slow learners? Why do men always learn backwards? This is another mystery, which I try to unravel. I suppose many do that too!
Ratnakar Mandlik 12 May 2016

Recognition, reverence and fame bestowed posthumously on great souls/ seers/ genius never impacts their lives during life time since they are far ahead of such things by being stoic. Thanks for sharing such a beautifully envisioned meaningful and thought provoking poem.10 +points.

0 0 Reply
Amar Agarwala 15 May 2016

Dear Ratnakar, Thank you for reading, liking and comprehending so well the inner thoughts. Am indebted to you for all this and also for the fact that you add to the number of poets this world has. I know how rapidly dwindling are their scarce numbers. Best Wishes!

0 0 Reply
Rajnish Manga 12 May 2016

Extremely thoughtful comment on our approach to the presence of mendicants and so called holy men who have remained an integral part of the society. The narrative is awesomely gripping. The element of suspense sustains readers' interest. Thanks, Dear Poet.

0 0 Reply
Amar Agarwala 12 May 2016

Dear Rajnish, Your words always adds a little cheer to my day. A poet's appreciation is always a treasure... I know how much your words are worth! Thank You Dear Friend!

0 0 Reply
Loke Kok Yee 12 May 2016

This poem is sooo beautiful to read; simple and touching thank you my friend-10

1 0 Reply
Amar Agarwala 12 May 2016

Dear Friend, Your words feel rejuvenating.... gives me inspiration to write. Only a poet can do this for another. Am short on words to thank you dear Loke. Best Always!

0 0 Reply
Error Success