( Pentina of Penury )

Two men were lurking by the Barnham Close
Who knows from whom or what they had to hide ?
A dog followed them out of pure devotion
They dreamt of warmth around the kitchen stove
And thick hot soup with heels of crusty bread

What will a man not do tell me for bread ?
Better not look at humans too up close
Better keep close to your own kitchen stove
Better keep deaf ears and a leathery hide
Better not examine roots of devotion

The goodfolk of the village with devotion
Attended church , consumed its wine and bread
Most confessed that they had nothing to hide
No secrets that they had to guard too close
No letters to be burnt at the home stove

And yet when gathered by the kitchen stove
Or by the altar to offer devotion
They thought of outlaws in the Barnham Close
And how the poor outcasts might lack for bread
And commit crimes for which they had to hide

Now looking for more mischief close they hide
O how they long for warmth of hearth and stove !
O how they long for meat and soup and bread !
O how they long to worship with devotion !
Two men still lurking by the Barnham Close !

They hide , they won’t bear scrutiny too close
Their devotion is to the Stove , and Bread !

( Amita Sarjit Singh )

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