Heart like ice, eyes like fire.
Hands that offer love for hire.
In this house, there dwells a man.
Who heals the soul like no one can.
Words to inspire, a shoulder to cry on.
A thousand faces, he can try on.
Postures, phrasing, fine technique.
Calm the fearful, lift the weak.
They look to him for faith and care.
They bring their gifts, he meets them there.
The system works, and many find
new strength of soul, and peace of mind.
But when the day is spent and gone,
he climbs the stairs and sits alone.
And wonders how it all began
a gentle, unassuming man
Who makes his living, selling faith
who stands aside and hides his face
and never dares to show his pain
who never doubts, and feels no shame
And here he dwells, in sacred space
encased in stone, with smiling face.
And sometimes, in his room at night
his eyes behold a fearsome sight
to fix his gaze upon the fire
Of Ancient Master to inquire
His mind remembers words he spoke
they dance with faces in the smoke
And there he knows, with joy divine
That he is of a different kind
A race of beings on the Earth
a wondrous tribe, of noble birth
Who live their lives devoid of care
extending hands to lift despair
Who can’t be seen, or known, or touched
who ponder little, offer much
He has no life apart from this
He feels no joy, he tastes no kiss
No sons to dance around his feet
No tender maid, his flesh to meet
But just to stay inside his room
Available for all who come.
And give to them the hope they crave
in fair exchange for alms they gave
It just makes sense, a noble quest
Among his kind, this man’s the best
Receive the rubble of their lives
exchange the sorrow, wipe the eyes
These folks who wander here and there
In search of hope, with cupboards bare
And he alone can reach inside
remove the splinters, calm the tide
He’s truly worth what people pay him
sweet relief from fear and mayhem
So do not judge the way he lives
the smile he wears, the gifts he gives
But understand that in this world
among the stones, there lives a pearl
Who stands alone and won’t look back
who faces darkness, fear and lack
And wipes away the pains of life
And cuts the bonds of guilt and strife
Then walks away from those he helps
without a thought about himself
Heart like ice, eyes like fire
hands that offer “love for hire”
This, the lonely Shaman’s call
living life behind a wall
No excuse for who he is
We can’t deny the help he gives
But we can wonder, when he’s gone
About this wondrous path he’s on
Is it pride, or just a gift?
That he would have no voice to lift
Of hopes and fears that were his own
to speak his pains, and make them known
To take from hands of love with friends
to feel and hurt like other men
Alas, it seems we’ll never know
the spirit wind that round him blows
So we must simply be content
to just accept this noble gent
And place our judgment on the shelf
And keep him hid inside ourself.
(C) Daniel Jacob, 1993