Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Night Poetry By Donal Mahoney

Perhaps it’s the election this year that has Donal Mahoney thinking dour thoughts about the future and the different groups of people in dire need. He has never wanted for anything in his life from childhood through dotage and spent many years working among those in great need, simply because he did not fit in the business world as an employee and had no skills to start a business of his own. Never rich and never poor, he has always had enough. But enough isn’t enough for enough people these days. People want more than enough while the poor and disadvantaged continued to live in another world. And sadly he doesn’t see this election, no matter who wins, making a material difference in their lives. He hopes he is wrong, very wrong. 

Billionaire and Beggar

A billionaire and beggar
die on the same day,
miles apart. They
never knew each other
but that’s no matter.

The billionaire is buried
with pomp reflecting
wealth and stature.

The beggar’s lowered 
in a potter’s field.
Two workers shovel. 
One says a prayer. 

Years later 
a major quake tosses 
thousands of caskets. 

Popped lids confirm
a truth the billionaire
and beggar share.

Dust and bones 
in both their caskets.
Equality lies here.

Donal Mahoney

It Can Happen in a Second

Solid middle class he is
always has been
always will be 

until tomorrow
on the highway 
in the rain this bus 

topples over
on his Dodge Durango.
He will never walk 

or work again.
In six months or a year
his savings will be gone.

He will be for life
a ward of the state
and people will

forever feed 
and bathe him for
the minimum wage

a sum he always said
folks like these 
were worth.

Donal Mahoney

A Portrait of Society

Red, yellow, brown
work well together in 
a portrait of society.
Add black, no problem.

But if we remove the red,
yellow and brown 
and then add white, 
white and black clash.

No simple answer but
white and black should talk.
Talking never killed anyone.
Might be worth a try.

Donal Mahoney

War Feasts Forever

A refugee from another country tells me  
people thrive on proving their beliefs 
more than understanding one another.

They will let a stereotype fall on others
like a cheap dress as long as it fits 
the image of someone they’ve created.
People are more dangerous when their rules 
are more important than their values, he says. 
Belief is like water and must be transparent. 

If people accept those who are different,
everyone sits down to a banquet of peace.
Otherwise war feasts forever. 

Donal Mahoney

Body Bag

I'm on my way to Larry’s Place, 
a food pantry in the city. 
I park a block away because 

parking in front of Larry’s
isn’t wise even if one drives 
a clunker. My old Buick 

almost qualifies as that.
It’s getting up in years
but still able to get around. 

I’m wobbling in the middle of
two shopping bags of food 
my wife found in our pantry.

Someone at Larry’s Place can 
take it home and have a meal. 
If they have a home. Not all do. 

Certainly not the fellow sleeping 
on the bench outside Larry’s 
in a black body bag, the zipper 

slightly ajar so he can breathe.
Lots of people go in and out
but no one bothers him. 

I go in, drop off my bags and 
exchange pleasantries with Larry. 
He says business is too good. 

He says the guy in the body bag
is a new arrival from out of town,
suggests I have a chat with him.

His story is remarkable, Larry says.
On the way out I see the fellow 
in the body bag is sitting up.

I give him five bucks 
and he asks if I want to hear 
the story about his body bag. 

I say I’d like to but I’m rushed,
that I’ll be back tomorrow with
my notebook and camera and

I’ll pay him. After all, everyone 
has to make a living. Or find 
their food at Larry’s Place.

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