Tag Archives: poetry

bread is bread

The satiated man and the hungry one do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread. – Rumi

Someone once told me that perception is reality. It took a little time for me to fully understand that piece of wisdom, but once I did, it has had a big influence on my relational skills.

Rumi, the well-known and much beloved Sufi poet, describes this by painting us a compelling picture.

Bread is bread, right? Maybe, but maybe not.

For most of us bread is just another commodity, another item to pick up at the store or check off a long grocery list. But to others bread is life or death, something to fantasize over, something that occupies every waking moment.

Those of us blessed with enough food are blessed to have numerous problems. Those that are hungry this morning have only one…bread.

Rumi is right. A loaf of bread is a loaf of bread, but it smells far better to some.

two enemies

I have two enemies in all the world,
Two twins, inseparably
pooled:
The hunger of the hungry and the fullness of the full.

This little poem I recently came across by Marina Tsvetaeva well describes my own feelings. After 40 years of walking along side the poor and hungry I still cannot reconcile myself to the apathy of those that have sufficient resources yet refuse to help those of our family in need. Here is an equally short poem I wrote over 30 years ago.

Hunger is an obscenity,
a four-letter word
scrawled across the lives of millions
by those that could, but do not share.