The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “Soul”. John has picked another ripper theme that let me continue the internal explorations begun last week. This can’t last.
Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20080810.mp3]

Ed Bates is back to playing the blues in the background this week. Another nice piece of work.


Soul

I conducted a stock take recently, the first I’d attempted in years
Fingers; ten, toes; the same, two arms, two legs, two ears

The eyes had gained a little baggage, freckles all present and correct
Teeth still there, though a different colour after a lifetime of neglect

Testicles had almost halved in size and it wasn’t due to wear and tear
The nose had really blossomed — even grown its own hair

Weight was up, muscle down, some you lose and some you win
Five billion brain cells unaccounted for, but hey, I’d gained an extra chin

One liver, cranky as always, not surprising since it’s usually pissed
Apart from appendix and tonsils, I found everything else on my list

But I had this nagging feeling, though I tried my best to ignore it
It suddenly hit me, my Soul was missing and it was decades since I last saw it

I was sure it was there in my childhood, till when I could only surmise
But I must have had it at Sunday School or they wouldn’t have given me a prize

I vaguely remembered in seventy something, to whom I couldn’t recall
I offered to trade it for front row tickets to Alice Cooper at Festival Hall

I frantically searched in case it was hiding, scoured both my head and my heart
I tried playing dead to see if it surfaced but all I could raise was a fart

I’d avoided exploring my ego, it’s a dangerous quarter of town
But the perfect place for a troubled soul determined not to be found

My Conscience was behaving suspiciously, I brought it in for interrogation
It refused to answer any questions without legal representation

Honesty had a water tight alibi, having languished for decades in jail
Before I could question either Morals or Ethics, Guilt had them both out on bail

Commitment kept avoiding the issue, it was hard to get to the truth
Logic claimed he’d never heard of Soul, demanded we show him the proof

The evidence was all circumstantial, not nearly enough to indict
He’d been spotted with Soul down a dark alley making deals in the dead of the night

Principles and Virtue looked beaten and bruised, the two were evasive and glib
When pushed on how they’d got the black eyes both claimed they’d walked into a rib

At last a breakthrough, Nerves finally cracked, more out of panic than bravery
Claimed Soul was abducted and stashed in the groin, where Lust forced Soul into slavery

Together with Faith I assembled a posse with the handful of Values remaining
Lust seemed almost glad to be caught, moaned “I’m sick of that damned Soul complaining”

Poor old Soul was barely alive, starved so long it had shrunk
Forced to commit unspeakable acts, chained and fed nothing but junk

For quite a while it was touch and go, but gradually it was nursed back to health
I began to notice what felt good for Soul felt just as good for myself

Small things grew in importance while others seemed to no longer matter
Unlike fashion, where weight is reviled, Soul is more gorgeous when fatter

While religions fight over ownership, their claims, at best, are unclear
For Soul, like a child needs freedom to grow, not threatened and driven by fear

There’s Soul in Respect, a meal shared with friends, compassion, live music, forgiving
Soul, to some, offers life after death, but to me it offers life to the living

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

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