Red Limousine


I never knew much

  of celebrity;

I never was “up

  on the times.”


Much too much busy

  after a war,

Getting re-fitted

  on Uncle Sam’s dime.


An Academe,

  a Labyrinthine;

Lost in the Halls

  of all Arts & Letters.


A Theseus,

  of sorts,

A Monk

  of the courts;


I tossed

  from the Mind

Ariadne’s fine



To the Work-a-Day


The world

  of Mundane;


I paid

  little heed

To celebrity



Much less

  to who’s Who

In world deed

  or fame.


‘Twas Thanksgiving


The year,

  I forget,


My newly found Girlfriend,

  we both of us went

With a girlfriend of hers

  to an Ashram event,


Where the Swami,

  A Satchidananda,

Would sit


In front of his audience

  of which we were guests,

A large bodied host,

  of his adherents.


He sat in but one,

  only one chair was there,

A large ceilinged hall,

  a Gym of some sort,


And one chair was all

  provided to sit

For the Swami

  Satchidananda as fit


A leader, a guru,

  a celebritous wit.

All else, we all sat,

  on the floor, at a mat.


High on the walls,

  looked down on our scene,

Hung portraits of famous

  faces esteemed.


Betwixt Albert Einstein

  and Mahatma Gandhi

Set that of our host,

  the reverent Swami.


Down on the floor

  we mass had our fare;

The Swami, afore,

  he sat in the chair


Surrounded by ladies

  in waiting “up there.”

Pompous and famous,

  such nonchalant air.


And “we” the plain people

  we sat on the floor,

Eating our veggies,

  requesting no more.


Each of my neighbors

  had names that were “new,”

Chosen from the pantheon,

  the gods of Hindu.


A Dharma sat near me

  and tried to explain

What was the meaning

  in his chosen name.


But then I said: “Sorry,

  I’m lost to such fame,

But your Swami up there

  drives a red limousine.”


I knew the materiel

  was greatly eschewed

(As was hereinto seen

  by the lack of good food!)


Then just at that juncture

  there came some great laughter,

The Swami had spoken

  a rejoinder or two


From something read to him,

  by his retinue:

A sign of respect

  in his admonition


To Capitol acts

  of political action.

A cosmopolitan,

  a worldly man,


A savant whose words

  I could not understand.

“Aha!  Our Swami,

  and his red limousine.


I forget now,

  but did you tell me

you’re from some



“Oh no!  Not I.

  But I think it obscene,

As leaders of non-materiel

  religious regimes


Should not be driving,

  much less be they seen

Flying about

  in red limousines.”


“Oh that.  Well that

  was a gift from some fellow

Of Liverpoole fame,

  one of the Beatles.


He may well have give him

  a ‘bloody’ forklift,

And our Swami happy

  in just driving it.


But sometimes the Great

  deserves something plain,

But see what becomes

  to Swamis of treats?


Red limousines

  with white leather seats.”


I pondered and wondered

  on Dharma’s rejoinder

Before I said “Dharma,

  here’s how I wonder:


How much true pleasure

  derives from such treasure

Reflects from the facts

  of meaningful measure.


Should I be such gifted

  I’d find me berefted

A garage for storage

  such fine riding carriage,


And also I’d need

  a driveway for speed

To house and proceed,

  though lacking protection.


Ah! All the monies

  I’d need for erection.

And a house! Yes, a house!


My home would be smaller

  than that which would rouse

Me to dig deeper

  and for more the dollar,


To build yet much bigger

  and go on much farther

The materiel stuff

  which would make me much poorer.”


Cause and effect

  has built in neglect;

But nothing much said

  on that for respect.





©2013, Marvin Welborn

4 December 2013


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