Head’s Up: A Poetry Column By Philip Appleman
PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
“I should have received mine own with interest.”
– Matthew 25:27
The love of money is the root,
the branch, the flower—so
why don’t we ever write poems
Is it because we’re just
too good for this world, counting
our delicate heartbeats out at the edge
of everyone else’s reality,
our sensitive psyches never fed
by the Fed, our Tao out of sync
with the Dow, in the midst of rallies,
all of us bearish on bulls?
Or is it because they’re already
writing their own poems, those canny
can-do capitalists, brokers and bankers all busily
locking in yields,
pumping new blood into partnerships,
watching the markets peak and bottom out,
sheltering windfalls, letting their profits run,
cutting their losses,
beefing up capital, funneling cash
into balanced portfolios?
Down here in the daffodils,
who’s counting? Could we ever
achieve an emotional high
at a boost in the prime rate?
Or could we go broke again
and convince our down-side lovers
it was only negative cash flow?
No poems except
in passion: the brokers keep asking,
is her smile worth three points
up front? Will the bougainvillea
turn a profit this quarter?
Are those gentle fingertips
And the sonnets keep whispering: Poets,
where your treasure is,
there will your songs be also.
From Karma, Dharma, Pudding & Pie
© Philip Appleman.
Philip Appleman is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. He is editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Darwin. He and his playwright wife, Marjorie Appleman, are both “After-Life” Members of FFRF. Phil’s books: ffrf.org/shop.