An Inspiring Poem from Ryan Woods, a dear friend

imageIt’s nearly 4.30 a.m. in the morning, it’s raining outside; but I’m snuggled up in a warm bed. Each night when I pick my wife up from work, and drive down the city’s main shopping street, I see the less fortunate, the homeless (some of them young, some of them female); and I wonder how comfortably they will sleep tonight? My latest poem touches on the plight of homelessness and the inherent plight of society in general, when we sell ourselves out in the name of money and power. It is always the little people who suffer, those without voices, so to speak. Power and money are consumate seductresses. On these themes, I offer my latest poetic creation, “There, but for the grace of God…”


“Hey, man; you got a quarter?
You ain’t got nothin’?
That’s OK man; that’s OK.
Hey, God Bless you anyway…’

What does that even mean anymore?
These days, I am little more
than a whore to society,
and its predisposition to choke me
with its uniformality;
force feeding me
its belief system…
But, if I don’t believe
in the system,
then where does that leave me?
By day,
I am a mere puppet,
dancing to whatever tune
my faceless puppet master
sees fit.
By night,
I sit,
and watch from my window,
like a curious voyeur,
as I observe the Danse Macabre
in the streets below;
and the world pirouettes
in the afterglow
of the fallout
from our sell-out
to corporate greed;
as we continue to feed
the rich,
while ignoring the needs
of the masses…
It’s time to wake up,
and get up off our asses.
I witness the corruption
of society…
Noteworthiness, losing out to notoriety;
as we betray our morals
and sell our souls,
in the single-minded pursuit of our goals…
Simplicity got kicked to the kerb,
like a tin can;
or a newspaper
displaying yesterday’s news,
as wealth became our religion,
and money; our muse…
It’s hard to wash away the sin,
when the sin
comes from within;
but without
a doubt,
the truth will all come out
in the wash…
Life has become a mosh pit,
of controlled violence,
and uncontrolled greed;
into which we dive head first
without any consideration
for the consequences
of our actions.
The lure of power
can have a fatal attraction…
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth;
so, they say;
so, we neglect the needy
and give birth
to avarice…
They say that ignorance is bliss,
so, we unwittingly
become an accomplice
to their complicity.
Perhaps, Karma will put the world right;
I don’t believe in the afterlife,
and I’m not convinced
that there is a heaven…
But I know, that there are Seven
Deadly Sins,
and I have been crossing them off my bucket list,
one by one.
I have missed the opportunity to redeem my soul.
There is no rhyme, nor reason
to my madness.
My days are governed by sadness,
and my nights
by Nightmares…
Sometimes, it feels as if nobody cares.
So, I learned to roll with the punches,
and go with the flow;
but the current
that surround me
threaten to drown me.
I am lost…
I am broken…
Of all the words that I have spoken,
the ones that were always sincere were,
“Daddy loves you” …
They are etched into my heart,
with a shard of glass…
Time passes, and
once more,
I find myself in the underpass,
amongst the lost,
and the strays;
and see you with your tin can
full of nickels and dimes,
and I wonder to myself
what crimes
did you commit against society
to deserve to live like this?
But, I guess that you and I have different perspectives
of what constitutes hardship,
and hard times…
I sit down by your side,
and I offer you, not pity;
but my hand;
and in turn, you help me to understand…
Where you see rhythm,
I saw the blues,
we both watch,
from our different views;
as a legless veteran
in a rusty old wheelchair
rolls on by,
and you turn to me and say…
“There…but for the Grace of God; go I.”
Copyright © Ryan Woods 06/11/2016

I would like to credit the rock group, Savatage, for loosely inspiring this poem, and for the opening stanza, taken from their song “Jesus Saves”, from the album Streets; A Rock Opera.

© 2016. Ryan Woods. All rights reserved.