The Rich and the Poor

by Novid Shaid, November, 2010


A road sweeper whispered some words while clearing autumn leaves,

which lay below the naked elms that lined a privileged street.

A tear fell from his gentle eyes, landing upon a leaf,

reviving it for just a while from separation’s grief.

He brushed along past wealthy folk, dining in an eatery,

where a captivating cover girl sat smiling playfully.

She luxuriated in the spell she cast upon the men,

who could not help a lingering glance while reading their menus.

A quantum physicist drew praise for winning the Nobel prize,

Behind him sat an oligarch, lavishing gifts on his new bride.

A stand-up comedian, top draw, left his table roaring with laughter,

his friends hanging on every word that came from him thereafter.

And many other members of the finest echelons

ate happily, while with the leaves the man mumbled his song:


“Were I to lose the ecstasy of being near to You

And in exchange be courted by the fairest lady of the land

Then I would be the most wretched of losers.


Were I to lose the felicity of seeing nought but You

And as a consequence be the talk of people all around,

Then I would be the most wretched of losers.


Were I to lose the timelessness of Your pure entity

And then penetrate the mysteries of space and time travel,

Then I would be the most wretched of losers.


Were I to lose the serenity of hearing nought but You,

And subsequently be the greatest orator of the times,

Then I would be the most wretched of losers.


Were I to lose Your riches and my desperate poverty

And then inherit mansions adorned with landscape gardens of gold,

Then I would be the most wretched of losers.”

This entry was posted in Poems, Sufi/Mystical and tagged , by Novid Shaid. Bookmark the permalink.

About Novid Shaid

I am a Muslim writer and English teacher. I have written poetry, short stories, a play, and I am currently working on a novella. My subject matter and themes are related to Islam, Sufism, politics and also my job as a secondary school teacher. My work is copyrighted and any works published here may not used or copied without my prior consent. You can contact me via the "Contact Me" page, if you wish to use any these writings. I am keen to gain the notice of publishers and if any are interested in my writings, please contact me via the "Contact Me" page. Was salaam, Peace

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