Friday, December 16, 2005

Ode to a Toad

Serge Kahili King
Urban Shaman

Grunt and gurgle, little toad
Down there in your mud abode.
Do you ever think of us?
Do we make you fret and fuss
With our wars and waste and greed,
Our rush toward death with reckless speed?
Do you wonder at our fate,
Who preach of love and practice hate;
Who distrust and fear those not like we,
Though they live next door or across the sea?
Do you laugh and laugh at how we talk
Of peace, while one hand holds a rock
Ready to bash our neighbor's head,
Because he's yellow, black, or red?
And at those who cry,
"We must disarm!
Our enemies will ne'er do us harm.
When they see we've no weapons or means of defense,
They'll be happy to stay on their side of the fence."
Or at those who say, "Attack and fight!
We'll show them all that might is right.
Who cares about nuclear radiation?
It's important we prove we're the strongest nation!"

Ah, men say this and men say that,
And some change sides and some stand pat.
And some merely glory in tromping on toes,
But few see beyond the thick end of their nose.
They rant and rave with fiery speech,
And preach, and preach, and preach, and preach.
So what is achieved by a thousand words?
And where are the footprints of flying birds?
For words can't grow crops or clothe the poor,
Or find a disease's elusive cure.
They can't feed children or heal the sick,
Or build a dam or wield a pick.
Oh, they have their place, that I concede.
But a word can never replace a deed.

Yes, it's action that counts, not what we say.
We must act and do and lead the way
By DEEDS! if we hope to live at all
In a world without hate, or revenge, or a Wall.
Do we truly believe in the Rights of Man,
Be he black or white, yellow or tan?
Do we honestly think we can live without war,
In trust and peace forevermore?
That there needn't be hunger or sickness or fear;
That death for so many need not be so near?
If we do then let's ACT! and make this old Earth
A place where real joy will attend every birth.

And what if we don't?
If we just sit and wait
Till the bombs start to fall and we know it's too late?
These are questions I ask myself, too, little toad,
As I sit at my desk or drive down the road.
If we drop our terrible, monster bomb,
Will you sit there serene, patient, and calm?
Or will you just chuckle, thinking of when
The Earth will no more be troubled by men?
If instead we recognize Earth as our Mother,
And all of her creatures as sister and brother,
The land and the sea and the sky as a friend,
Ourselves as gardeners whose role is to tend,
Then maybe, with love, in an ACTION mode,
We might make it work after all, little toad.

To read a review of King's book Urban Shaman go to The Illuminated Innovant.

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