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Beggar's Belief ©

Jim McRobert
Edinburgh, Scotland
2004

For all of us who have suffered self-harm
helped to recover by family alarm
struggled to contain the pain deep inside
desperate for help when help is denied
rarely a thought for the hundreds in Care
'till an alien arrives from a country somewhere

he does it deliberate ignoring the pain
he does it deliberate seeking to gain
he'll try with a needle to sew up his lips
withholding from diet just taking sips

he'll sew up his eyes and never complain
it's all done to trick, this man is sane
he knows all the ways to cheat and connive
knowing the system, the means to contrive

he wants to test our constitution
escape from the system of institution
develop and argue for his solution
with words he implies create revolution

he tries to intimidate by lies that's been said
rather starve by us bigots, rather be dead
with sympathy gained from misguided quarters
his are with men, never their daughters

he travels the world to teach us religion
will live by our laws but lacking conviction
would change our system to suit his belief
to live by a culture that promises grief

dare we listen to his pleading way
heed in conviction what he will say
offer a hand in the hope he is right
blind in the ways as one loses one's sight

of beliefs we had when we recognised truth
too young for counsel our parents spoke proof
trusted our elders and folk of our nation
not strangers we met as we stood at some station

let's stop and think at what we are doing
don't criticise and sit there poo-pooing
we were the young when nations were born
watched all the suffering, alien, foreign

of the claims of the folks who said they knew best
stood on their pulpits preaching distress
to people, just people, believed every word
no matter how honest, often absurd

and for our pains lived thro' the war
starved with the apathy, what was it for
thro' all the famine, lost without hope
the words he is offering to us is a joke


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