Redemption

In the grim back alleys of the city,

Mean streets devoid of all signs of pity,

Amid the piles of decaying refuse

And slimy pools of darkly noxious ooze,

Frequented only by the scuttling rats

And noisome tribes of scabby feral cats;

Here, slumped in doorways, human flotsam lies,

Just filthy piles of rags crawling with flies.

In such surroundings one would not expect

To find evidence of beauty’s rare spark,

Yet with more careful eye one may detect,

Delicate flowers glowing in the dark,

Rare signs that life defeat will never know,

And even in midst of death hope will grow.

*****

There was once a man whose name was no one,

A man without hope, marked by death’s shadow,

Wasted by booze and drugs, his cheeks hollow,

With sunken eyes from which all spark had gone.

His dissolute life had stolen the sun,

Banished from home, and warmth of family,

Begging for an end to his agony,

Desperate that his crimes could be undone.

But he was not entirely forsaken,

The wife so sorely abused yet loved him,

Regardless of danger to life and limb,

Through the cold city’s foetid underground,

She searched, sustained by hope he might be found,

And love so strong it could not be shaken.

*****

Nothing is stronger in heaven or earth

Than the redeeming power of true love.

Love does our humanity fully prove;

It is the force that binds us from our birth,

And gold or silver cannot tell its worth.

Although passion will fade as we grow old,

And pretty created things lose their hold,

In hearts love ever seeks to make its berth.

Love forgives and takes no account of wrongs,

And through its power all may be reborn,

Whate’re the price may be, love ever longs

To make us whole, caring not for men’s scorn,

For no richer gift can there ever be

Than to share the love that will set us free.

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