Today for All You've Taught

Today for All You've Taught

A Poem by Sel Whiteley

In the deep recession of the world,
I've only a poverty of words.
I cannot pen on this white sheet -
any description of you:
Eco-warrior, world treasure.

Nor imagine how it is to spend
each day in the serenity of fields
having only the dawn chorus
as your alarm clock, radiant stars
as your bedside lamp.

A decade ago, as if in parable,
you stood on a wall's grey threshold,
spoke of listening to those on
the fragile  shadow ledge of their lives,
as you manned the Samitarian's phones.

You taught me how charity
wasn't measured in plastic buckets,
though you lined them up
as other men line pints
across a bar, but in our smiles.

Years later, amid a hundred
scripted lives, your talk of earthquakes
thousands of miles away shook
my foundation,the raising waters
of Bangladesh flooded all my senses.

We should have known then
that Buddha-like and empty-handed,
you'd tidy away the refuse of our lives.
No home save in a thousand hearts
that love you and celebrate you, today! 


© 2012 Sel Whiteley

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register


What a homage to this person; your respect and genuine affection is resonant throughout...'no home save in a thousand hearts'

Posted 9 Years Ago

Not an eulogy but a true tribute. The words here are so very special. They do justice to the writer and the person written about in equal measure.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Special words written with enormous respect and sensitivity.You've written a true tribute to someone who went from being a local Samaritan to seeing and being further and further out of his immediate locality. To know someone like that is such a privilege.

Posted 11 Years Ago

you can speak at my funeral, any day

Posted 11 Years Ago

Some earn their right to speak of good deeds. Some earn their right to be here.

Posted 11 Years Ago

so many talk of doing good deeds, so very few live their lives that way!

Posted 11 Years Ago

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


7 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on July 30, 2012
Last Updated on July 30, 2012


Sel Whiteley
Sel Whiteley

Toulouse, France

Peace activist and development worker more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..

Spiral Spiral

A Poem by Robin