Paul Murdoch

Rookie (1961 / Alexandria)

The Selfish Man - Poem by Paul Murdoch

How can you be so selfish?
Would you ever fain to consider some other creature? Would you?
Is this art of altruism a passion or a curse?
I mean, do you like yourself?
Tis easier to kill the fire-breathing dragon of my nightmares,
Blind and bound, than to drag you away from yourself.
Easier to lift back a fallen pine, than place my finger neath your chin
And raise your head. Force your eyes to gaze on other worlds.
For there are so many other worlds, all spinning round their suns…
Desolate days and empty nights are yours if you want them,
But eventually, others will loose patience with you; cast you aside.
“But I don’t understand what you mean, ” I hear you say.
No, you may not. But do you care?
Do you want to listen? For if you do, there is hope.
Hope on high, with spreading wings will sore above your jagged peaks,
Then land softly on some sandy bay and wait,
Wait, until you transform it into something beautiful.
“What shall I turn it into? ”
Turn it into concern, reason, and patience. Turn it into consideration.
Then every time you pause and look for this magical creature, it will reward you.
It will dance on children’s faces. It will sing in the houses of your enemies.
It will mellow and subdue them. Its sweet song will soften their hearts to you.
They will open their doors forever, and let you in.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 31, 2006

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