audio Audio By
Ben Whisman

Mammon 1

By Ben Whisman ~

A holiday meditation after paying taxes.

  1.  
    1. How strange, our culture.
    2. We buy and buy,
    3. Too often too busy
    4. To make it ourselves.
    5. So we buy it, greedy selves,
    6. Or we buy it, a gift ready-made,
    7. With the best of motives,
    8. To show love and liking.
    9. I wish it didn’t seem sometimes,
    10. Like homogenized sentiment,
    11. One size fits all, impersonally personal.
  2.  
    1. We buy so much, it seems.
    2. We even buy and sell what is no one’s,
    3. Land and water and sustenance,
    4. Shouldn’t those belong to all together,
    5. Shouldn’t they be free?
    6. What’s wrong with us and our culture?
  3.  
    1. Then we tax it, and tax it some more.
    2. Isn’t it odd, there’s legal protection
    3. From being twice put in jeopardy,
    4. But it’s alright for multiple sources to tax us.
  4.  
    1. Tax me so much that I can’t own what’s mine,
    2. So I must sell it or rent it.
    3. Someone else gets richer, I get poorer,
    4. And so I can’t provide and contribute like I could, like I want to.
    5. Tax me into poverty or oblivion, if you can.
    6. Tax my death. Tax all I had when I lived,
    7. So my heirs have less. Insult them, while they grieve.
  5.  
    1. These are the things that mar my holiday mood,
    2. They give me the blahs and the blues,
    3. When I want to be happy, and make my loved ones happy,
    4. I can’t enjoy the way I want to,
    5. Because in the midst of celebration of life and love,
    6. I am reminded of lost loved ones, lost even alive,
    7. Of absent friends or lacking them,
    8. Of no one to warm my bed, and me warm someone,
    9. Of death and grieving,
    10. Of insulting commercialism instead of love,
    11. Of taxes, when I should be able to relax.
  6.  
    1. Mammon, and the Tax Collectors, Scrooge, and the Grinch
    2. Have stolen my Christmas and New Year’s;
    3. They’ve drunk all my egg nog and spoiled my turkey,
    4. Those turkeys — I’d like to give them the bird.
    5. Those foul fiends are not friends.
  7.  
    1. But instead, I will do my best
    2. To be happy, to make my loved ones and even strangers happy,
    3. Because that’s what I want much more.
    4. By that, I’ll gain much better, and hope one day, this better way will win.
    5. Meanwhile, I’ll smile and laugh, and hide the tears and fears,
    6. And find a way to ease them, with those who’ll care, if I can only ask and say.
    7. I’ll pay the tax man, pay my bills, budget it out somehow,
    8. And work on a way to get past all this,
    9. I never want to live this way again,
    10. I want to live, to fight another day, for what is right,
    11. Not to give up and give in,
    12. Instead to be true to me, to be true to those I love,
    13. And, God grant, to widen that circle some more,
    14. So that next year, I’ll have new loved ones,
    15. And a better life to share.