Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Can You Spare Some Change?

Letting me read poetry is always a hazard. While looking for the Bertolt Brecht poem I posted in a thread, I came across a line in one of his poems about a stunted tree. It made me think. This is the result.

Can You Spare Some Change?

Hurrying through the city one day on errands

I came across a beggar seated on the sidewalk

with his back against the wall. His worn face

and thin frame pointed to a life ill-spent.

A well-dressed man stood over him.

In an angry, raised voice, he said,

“Get a job, you worthless bum.”

I looked from the speaker to the broken man

at his feet. Then, against all common sense,

I spoke up. “Excuse me, sir,” I said.

“Have you ever helped a poor mother

find good food for her hungry children?

Have you helped fund schools in poor neighborhoods?”

He turned his angry gaze and words on me.

“What does that have to do with me?

What are you, some kind of liberal do-gooder?”

“Well, sir,” I said in a pleasant voice,

“If you planted seeds in barren soil and the crops

came up stunted would you curse the crops

or blame yourself for not enriching the soil?”

After a long, angry stare, he turned his back

and walked away. Over his shoulder,

I heard him mutter, “Damn nosy do-gooder.”

I watched him for a moment then dropped

some change in the beggar’s upturned hat.

As I hurried on to finish my errands,

a plantive chant followed me down the sidewalk.

“Buddy, can you spare some change?”


  1. fogiv

    do you ever try for publication?  there’s lots of small-press lit ‘zines that would love this (and stuff like it) I suspect.

  2. fogiv

    thought you might appreciate:

    Dear K

    (Not of the republic is this the day of beginning.)

    And if it is not yet spoken, this day, what it is

    if I cannot speak about it, to you, my love,

    to anyone, of the picture, time of here

    and time to come, how long the beginning

    the after of any season, how to count on it

    I do not know.  The poem inclines

    to restless thought: the night relentless

    the heavens unimaginably vast.  I cannot speak

    of else that troubles me but that this

    appears, needs to be worded, to you, to someone

    but to you above all, the sky in January

    crowded with lights, we saw them, on our back

    on a deck, and the sea nearby, flowing and going.

    –Mark McMorris

  3. Two poets met in an online battle

    determined to test each others mettle

    They threw out their verse

    into a digital universe

    The fight could be long

    for they both seemed strong

    Would one finally conquer

    and declare himself the victor?

    There is always some doubt

    when it comes to an online bout.

    Is one a bot?

    Or not?

  4. Shaun Appleby

    We’ve done it again.  Trashed a sensitive, meaningful diary with ribaldry and frivolous nonsense.  Fun, as always.

Comments are closed.