22 June 2011


The rabble did babble in pointless fury
As the problem lay ignored and still
Opinions launched in a chaotic flurry
Each intent to impose its own will
Argue and argue and argue some more
Seems so hard for sanity to avail
While all around the debating floor
Lay all the wreckage of an oft told tale
Everyone knew what must be done
But no one dared to do it
By hard dirty labor it must be won
But no one would see through it
“We must get to work!” they all cried
But no one budged at all.
‘Cause none of the leaders they espied
Did more than issue the call
Ever higher the rhetoric was raised
Epithets flying in bitter sad song
As though the force of will displayed
Were sufficient to right all that’s wrong
Then somewhere near the side a man
Stepped from the shadows to fore
He said not a word, & raised not a hand
To quiet the din and the roar
He just quietly picked up a tool
And weighed it in his strong grip
Selected a board and a nail and a spool
And a hammer to hang on his hip
Silently he started to build
Unnoticed by the great teeming row
His hand were calloused, his face was filled
With wrinkles,  yet strangely unbowed
He drove the nail and sawed the board
And soon had raised a wall
He asked no one to lift even a cord
Or help in any way at all
He soon was mocked and criticized
“How dare you start without us!”
They cursed and spit and spouted lies
“Don’t you know this is all about us?!?”
He paid them not a whit of heed
And kept his head bent to his work
He sawed and nailed, a steep price indeed
In sweat and blood and hurt
His attackers soon grew tired of him
“We’ll leave him here to rot!
“A model for fools, with wisdom slim!”
And they all walked away and forgot
But soon the man felt a soft breeze
Cooling the sweat on his brow
As a younger man quietly rolled up his sleeves
And set his hand to the plow
He said not a word, needed no inspiration
He simply took up the burden of toil
He followed along with no consternation
And didn’t care if his hands he did soil.
Soon other joined with no thought of gain
They had not a care for who might
Deride or applaud their efforts, not in vain
Tho’ they may be in some slacker’s dim sight
Their leader gave no indication
That he’d needed their help from the start
He simply worked with determination
And berated no one else’s small part
He did not command, no glory did sell
Certain that others like he would savor
The satisfaction of hard work done well
The peaceful sleep of an honest days’ labor
The work was not glamorous or high spoken
Few indeed noticed at all
He lost track of the tools that were broken
And hours spent sharpening his saw
The moral of my story ‘tis true
And not easily swept away
People will notice what you do
Long before they will hear what you say.
An old wise saying comes now to my mind
Though I’ve forgotten now just who ‘twas that said it
It’s amazing what will work out just fine
If you don’t care who takes the credit. 


Medic252 said...

Good poem, as was the earlier one. I can think of no better illustration of leadership than Maj. Winters.

DittyMac said...

This is an interesting blog. Is its purpose to give people stuff to think about or just to air your views. I believe your views gave me something to think about, but I am not going to spend a lot of time on that. Strangely, I was surfing blogs when I discovered yours, and I had just been thinking about Peaceniks and Konrad Lorenz and how I should blog about that. But I probably won't. There is a lot of that stuff out there nowadays. Keep up the brilliant work.