Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Ragpicker Child

(for a little Indian angel)

What do you see when you're looking at me?
My clothes are all tatters, my hair full of fleas.
My body is battered, my feet always bare,
But I have a heart, and need someone to care.
A long time ago, I had a mother,
A father, a sister, an aunt, and a brother.
Where are they now?
The weather is cold. I need someone to love me, someone to hold.
Each morning at dawn when people start waking,
The fires are all lit, but I huddle shaking.
The cold and the wet just eats at my bones,
I need someone to love me, someone to hold.
If I rise very early the pickings are best,
I dodge the night watch man and fight off the rats.
The other rag pickers, they are my brothers,
My father, my sister, my aunt, and my mother.
We all need a family, someone of our own,
A fire, and a mother, and love in a home.
Look in my eyes, I'm just a child.
But my body is old and my head very wise.
Christmas to me, is like any day,
The rubbish is picked, and the rats chased away.
So tell me why Christmas is special to some,
And who is this God, and who is his Son?
Where is he now, can he see me,
As I pick through the rubbish, and scratch at the fleas?
You tell me this story, a baby was born,
In a manger he lay, with the beasts in a stall.
And Mary his mother, loved him so much,
But she knew from the start, He was given to us.
A Gift He was called, from our Father above,
And sent to this earth, for each one to love.
Can I be this baby, just for a while,
And have someone to love me, and someone to smile.
And perhaps I'll believe, that the Lord is my helper,
And be not afraid, when man tries to hurt me.
So next time you see me, see Mary's child,
Not a dirty rag picker, discarded and wild.

By Carole Edgecox


Vee said...

What a poem. It brought tears to my eyes.

voixdange said...


Kathleen Callon said...


Worried said...

Re: this and the previous post. An amazing and revealing experience for both of you, and for those here who shared your experience via your posts.
Too many people are isolated within their own countries and communities and although they feel compassion for the terrible stories they hear and read on the news, it is difficult for them to relate on a personal basis and to truly view the "foreigners" as real people.
But when we are in the midst of the foreigners, interact with them, experience their culture and their lives, we see them not only as real people but as brothers and sisters in the human family. Then they are not foreign at all.
Thank you for your descriptive post and the beautiful poem, for allowing us to share your experience by proxy.

Lindsay Lobe said...


I could not think of a more beautiful poem or attempt to ever express it in such an eloquent way.

I can’t think of what to say, so I have reverted to my own attempt at poetry in response.

The dream of the child from a mother’s rich dust
The dust of her dreaming from a poet we trust
Inspires deep within in us a mind to be kind
A reverent mind for a child of mankind

The earth’s agony is hot winds from our sun
A human dominion but no freedom has won
The power and glory and what we all seek
To tame mother earth to be at our feet

A truth is the eyes of the heart of a stone
To see the life cycle and leave it alone
Awaken a new dreaming to come in our mind
Consciousness gathers a new thinking to find

To trust one another, a new progress to make
To love one another for that poets child sake

Progressive Traditionalist said...

I, too, was moved to tears. Thank you so much.

That's what I like about your little Cafe; it's like a long hot bath for the soul.

Progressive Traditionalist said...

I've thought about it, and the Cafe DA is more like a hot tub for the soul.
Love that hot tub!

Blogger formerly known as JBlue said...

Very touching.

Gary said...

There is no good reason for children to be without food, shelter, safety and love in this world. Until we end that, we will not have evolved as a species...

Thanks for this Dimitri.

Tina said...

Hubby, BabyGirl and I spent all day on Sunday visiting with his 88 yr old grandmother who lives about 2 hrs north of us in a Cleveland suburb. On the way to her house we needed to fill the car up with gas, and while hopping back on the highway we saw a woman in a tattered coat holding up a cardboard sign begging for money. We watch car after car drive past her as if she didn't even exist. Without saying a word, I looked at my husband and he already knew what to do... he turned around, went back to the gas station, bought her some bottled water, a loaf of bread, a bag of chips, and three cans of soup. We had to pull our car over so Hubby could walk this over to her, but she accepted our food, and gave my husband a hug and as we drove past her we could see she was crying... but so were we. I know it's not much, but we have our 3yr old in the car. If we don't show her by example that we need to help people who desperately need help, how will she ever learn and what hope is there for our future?

Progressive Traditionalist said...

I believe Gary is being a bit (overly-) optimistic in his comment here.
The next shift is surely coming, probably not too far away; and Man will inevitably evolve to a higher species, if he survives long enough.
But history shows us that when these types of shifts occur, the old problems remain; indeed, sometimes they are intensified.
Consider us now, how technological a society we have achieved; and yet racism, the remnants of the old tribalism, remain.
We cannot evolve away from our problems. I wish the answer was that easy.

Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

Hi I just discovered you
very nice and interesting thoughts
how come you never write about sex?
come over for coffee

DA said...

Thx Vee, Angevoix and Kathleen.

Thank you Worried. Sometimes it is easier to relate to the people abroad than to the onces we see every day. I wonder what that is, fear of letting it get to close and get hurt or seeing your own shortcomings..For me many times it is both I guess..

DA said...

Lindsay our dear polymath..

Your poem is wonderful. Trust and love, two ingredients for a succesful kitchen of the soul..

Thank you PT, that is very kind..

Julian thx for your kind comments.

I hope we will evolve during my current life Gary. It would be comforting to see the world a little better when we pass away..

That was a wonderful and very inspiring story Tina. It makes me think twice before just walking by people in need. Thanks for sharing.

I share your worries PT but sure hope Gary's right. I do see some worldwide initiatives to stop poverty and so on so I too am hopeful:-)

Looks like you didn't read it at all Datingmaster. Let me help you out: http://cafeda.blogspot.com/2006/01/having-tv-in-bedroom-halves-your-sex.html

Progressive Traditionalist said...

I can't say that I disagree with Gary; I just think we have different understandings of what it means to evolve.

And now I'm thinking that maybe the Cafe DA is more like a hot springs with an occasional geyser for the soul...