Misery

I walked once in bracing cold

And chanced upon a sight,

Wherefore a group of men told

Of their tales and bragging rights.

 

A noble from the city

Began his tale of woe,

Of being an orphan, a pity

And making it on his own.

 

The beggar scorned at him

As he looked down upon money.

He said it was evil and it seems

He was blessed not having any.

 

Beside him stood a man

Who was pale and coughing.

He said he was deathly ill and

He struggled with death knocking.

 

As I walked on further

A man broke from the group.

I caught up to ascertain

More about the troop.

 

He said “The group was misery

Where men lost their sight.

And as misery loves company

They gathered to state their bragging rights.

 

Each one in turn narrated

His own tale of sorrow and woe.

And as always he weighed

His story with others told.

 

The winner would be the piteous bit

As he had suffered the most.

Misery would be his and he it

As trials and woe showed.”

 

I asked “Why then had he walked away

Shying his own tale from light.

The strongest would surely be swayed

To such a competition of trite.”

 

The man stared at me and said

“Not me, I’ve regained my sight!

Life and its blessings should be celebrated

And not misery, sorrow and strife.

 

I ask of you where is the pride

In suffering through trials and shame.

Does sorrow make success burn more bright?

Or does it shine in its own flame?”

 

I asked, “But, isn’t it great

To see a man win after strife of long?”

He said, “But strife isn’t all it takes.

Otherwise victory would always favor the underdog.

 

Triumph comes to those who

Have the ability and the drive.

The victorious one also could

Be the one who has seen strife.

 

I ask of you is it wrong

To celebrate man’s achievements?

Whether it be the king or the monk

Triumph would never glance at his predicament.

 

Oddly, I regained my senses when I saw

That we were lauding misery.

Where in our hearts each one sought

Happiness, life and victory.”

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