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December 24, 2012

My Fourth Year

By David Glenn Cox

There is much to be said about having nothing, If you can stay alive, If you can breathe and feel and eat and sleep, If the pain doesn't catch up to you, If the shadows don't kill you, If the loneliness doesn't break you If the cops don't take you,

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Multnomah Falls by DGC


This is my fourth year with nothing,
I cry no tears.
I no longer believe in God, Jesus or Santa Claus,
I have no illusions.
I believe there is a creator and a plan for me,
I have felt his warmth.

I have walked five miles in the frozen snow,
I relish my life.
I have witnessed birds and trees, running waters and frozen grasses,
I received great joy.
I heard the big trucks rumbling and cars speeding as they pass me by,
I saw and felt everything, they saw only their destinations.

There is much to be said about having nothing,
If you can stay alive,
If you can breathe and feel and eat and sleep,
If the pain doesn't catch up to you,
If the shadows don't kill you,
If the loneliness doesn't break you
If the cops don't take you,

There is much to be learned in this university of the road,
That poor people are good.
That poor people come in all shapes and sizes, all colors, all persuasions,
That poor people will share.
That though I might have walked five miles in the snow, they have walked ten,
That still, they have listened to me and obliged me.
That these things too, they have learned in this university of adversity.

I once had many things but I knew nothing and now, I have nothing,
But I know many things.
I once cared for people only with my head,
But now it is with my heart.
I have tried to step lightly through the world and to cause no injury,
But sometimes, I have failed and seek forgiveness.
I have sometimes been insulted and abused,
But I have found forgiveness.

This is my fourth year with nothing,
I cry no tears,
I believe in everything, in song, in laughter, in somber tones.
I have no restrictions,
I live my life in the simple beauty and glorious thunder of a hot shower, a warm bed, and a cold drink, the intoxication of sweet grass or listening to the ocean's cold roar.

I have spun straw into gold; though I'm older I'm not so old,
The warmth of a good woman, her hand to hold,
It is our greatest gift that won't fit in our pockets nor leaden our load.
It frees our spirit and caresses our soul and with it, I have no need of silver and gold.

With it, life is to be relished,
With it, life is not so cold,
With it, life is beautiful,
With it, we can move on.



Submitters Bio:

I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I am really. Given a front row seat for the generation of the 1960's I lived in Chicago in 1960. My father was a Democratic precinct captain, my mother an election judge. His father had been a Union organizer and had been beaten and jailed for his efforts. His first time in jail was for punching a Ku Klux Klansman during a parade in the 1930's. I never felt as if I was raised in a family of activists but seeing it print makes me think, yes. That is a part of who I am. We find ourselves today living in a world treed by the hounds of madness, a complicit media covering contrite parties. Multilevel media, giving more access to communication yet stunting actual communication. More noise, less voice, more sound less music, more law less justice, more medicine less life.

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