Inside the Dragon’s Teeth

Maui, Hawaii

From inside, you get a new perspective
___Of the tourist spot known as Dragon’s Teeth.
The people who write about such things give
___This place, which lies on the ocean beneath
A golf course and ritzy hotel, a dull,
___Scientific description: “Lava flow,
Met by wind and waves, cooled at an angle
___To look like teeth.” While that is surely so,
Such factualism tells only part
___Of the story, for when you stand within
This jagged amphitheater, the heart
___Senses something beyond mere rock and skin,
______An unseen artist whose exhibits stand
______As signs of pleasure in another land.

 

The Greatest Giver

Of all human traits, generosity
Is the feature that the best part admire.
Yes, bravery is a gem full of fire,
And wisdom gleams like gold light on the sea,
But nothing draws eyes like the rich bounty
Bequeathed by billionaires to a great cause—
Oh, the publicity and the applause
Garnered when millions are shared openly!
Yet (I mean no offense), how generous
Is a gift if the giver won’t miss it?
What’s a drop when an ocean is endless?
Poor widow’s coins should earn greater merit!
Though rightly we mint the giver as great,
Greatness is not in the sum but the rate.

 

Look at Me

“Humility is the foundation of all other virtues.” —Saint Augustine

Nowadays everyone shouts, “Look at me!”
For egotism’s a respected trait.
But the world could use more humility.

Social networks swell like a surging sea,
Bearing selfies, live tweets, and hashtag freight.
Nowadays everyone shouts, “Look at me!”

Self-confidence is fine, often the key
Where a modest man meets a modest fate.
But the world could use more humility.

A cosmos is condensed to emoji,
And common specks stretched out to something great.
Nowadays everyone shouts, “Look at me!”

Our pride is proportionate to degree
Of friends we make and trends we create.
Yes, the world could use more humility.

Merit is measured by “like” or RT*,
While virtue withers at a rapid rate.
Nowadays everyone shouts, “Look at me!”
But, Lord, we need more humility.

*RT: Internet slang for retweet, a term from the social media Twitter.

 

Ron L. Hodges is an English teacher and poet who lives in Orange County, California. His works have appeared in The Road Not Taken, Ancient Paths, Calvary Cross, and The Society of Classical Poets Journal 2015, 2016, and 2017. He won the Society’s prestigious Annual Poetry Competition in 2016.

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6 Responses

  1. Father Richard Libby

    These well-crafted poems contain very worthwhile messages. Well done!

    Reply
  2. James Sale

    Some great wisdom in these lines, Mr Hodges – especially The Greatest Giver. It was the Dalai Lama who said, ‘Generosity gives rise to a creative mind’, and it shows in your work.

    Reply
  3. Lorna Davis

    I agree with the other comments here – well-crafted, much-needed wisdom!

    Reply
  4. Satyananda Sarangi

    Hello Sir.
    I have been reading your poetry for quite some time now. They always succeed in touching the deepest cord within. Here, the poems are powerful and ‘The Greatest Giver’ is not only a poem but a vast ocean of wisdom.
    I must confess that your poem ‘Ode on a Children’s Cemetery Plot’ is one of my favourites and among the best that I have read in recent times.

    Always happy to recall your works in solitude. 🙂

    Reply

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