Monday, March 28, 2011

Ryokan's Thief

I’ve always loved hearing
Stories of hard travel
From people who’ve scattered
Like ghosts across the earth
Whether fugitives or followers
It’s their journeys I’d rather judge
Knowing, somehow
That our differences are mostly circumstance
And that condemnation is misunderstanding
But to hear a man out
Humbly, in good faith
Is something far more essential
To the development of decency
Than adherence to laws
However exalted
And that, shown compassion
A guilty man’s face
Will betray him absolutely
Fearing, as he should
No worldly harm
But only what conscience can deliver
The gentle reminders
Of his buried other
That part more enamored of the hardships
And solitudes of life

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