No one drove the beggars away
Murderers and thieves gathered to argue
about truth, and love, and virtue.
As rabid sleeping dogs lay,
and the houses piled in solemn disarray,
Nothing could be made anew,
and one pays where one is overdue.
where the rest of us kneel and gently cast away.
Hundreds in the shore and wrestle
even for the rain, for the thirst, for water
it just gets harder and heavier
this lightness, brightness, this saddle
to grow up and blow away like dust
and never anchor what they must.
A Day in the Slum
New York City, October 2011
(Cento Sonnet Poem,
inspired by Shantaram)