THE FIRST OF THE BLESSED
the poor in spirit, who are they?
the first of the blessed
who would gain heaven’s kingdom
who does it mean?
the spiritually poor, faithless and godless?
to them the kingdom? i think not
the dispirited then?
the poor of spirit, the uninspired
would they deserve it more than the other?
neither, i would say, and this i propose
the poor in spirit are those
in whom live the native spirit of the poor
who owning little of material value
without the wherewithal to buy their way through
must live on the riches of their other virtues
the strengths of their bodies honed by hunger and labor
their knowledge of nature and mastery of its gifts
above all their life of community
as of a family but of hundreds even thousands
bound together by a history of survival and co-existence
the thesis of Jesus it seems is that
a poor life is the wellspring of the waters of heaven
the soil of goodness, the true measure
of man’s worth in the sacred life of the universe.
to be poor in spirit, i see, is to embrace poverty
the first beatitude an economic theory.