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Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Thief I’ll Not Be

after Abul Aba ’Al Ma’ari: Syrian, tenth century

You are diseased in
understanding and belief.
Hark to my words: meat
is murder. Let the creatures
continue in their being.

And fish is meat too.
Milk is for animals’ young,
not you. Squeeze some from
your own nipples if you must.
Bird’s eggs belong in the nest.

Theft is injustice,
the worst of crimes. Why should bees
fill their honeycombs
for you to come raid them? Their
plenty is not your pantry.

This knavery I
foreswear: a thief I’ll not be,
sorry only I
couldn’t have done the right thing
long before my hair turned grey.