Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I'm a Human Being

up early
pre-dawn dog walk past the Mission
fellow pushing a cart stops me:
"I'm a human being...
and a teacher you know."
He looked up into the sky, 
then back to me.
"Got a word for you... your homework:
find joy."
I handed him some money - 
he pushed it back with both hands.
"Give that to the next saint you meet;
there's one just up the street."

He gave his cart a big inertia breaking push
turned the corner singing.


  1. Oh WOW! I cant TELL you how much I love this poem, on so many levels. Finding the joy, which we need so much in these times. Might I use your poem - with full credit given - in a prompt I am working on? (for earthweal.com, where we contemplate the climate crisis and our response to it). It is about finding the moments of "collateral beauty" in life. This poem is the PERFECT illustration of it. I will come back to see - or email me at wildwomantwo@gmail.com Great stuff, Ollie! You made my heart lift.

  2. One of your best works. I think I'll learn a lesson--search for joy. Look for a wise man behind an empty cart--it's cloudy out, it might rain. But today I search for joy in all the right places. Nice, nice writing.

  3. Fantastic poem & storytelling!
    This shows one can find saints (and teachers) in unexpected places.

  4. Love the encounter --- and the message. Going now to find the joy!

  5. What an interesting encounter. The poem reads like the beginning of a much longer story.

  6. Luv this meeting it reassures me that Joy finds we, we do not have to go looking.

    Happy Sunday. Thanks for dropping by my blog


  7. I'm glad that he was happy for that moment, and you were too. That's the beauty of a respectful chance encounter between people.

  8. How I love this! Great homework – and a great reminder that saints / angels / teachers may tun up in any guise.

  9. Even though the encounter was a good one I still feel undertones of sadness that we live in a society that has little regard for the vulnerable. Good poem.

  10. Yes, a teacher. I hope he's contagious.

  11. There's unconditional love it's only a matter of vision. beautiful poem

  12. Joyful! Reminds me of my dad who would also drop a five in the hand of the homeless man on the exit ramp while others kept their eyes peeled ahead and their hands tight on the wheel.

  13. What an encounter! And there's a great lesson to learn; finding joy. A touching and masterly poem. Thank you.

  14. We could all use such reminders from time to time.

  15. joy. We are not "rich" without it. We need it through good times and bad.

  16. This gave me chills. That man is brilliant. Excellent piece.


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