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A Pilgrimage Poem

Updated on April 22, 2012

Among this small group on our pilgrimage just,
was a man who claimed he was the one we could trust.
He called himself professional, an athlete, a star,
and we all came to wonder if he was going too far.
But he told us that where he came from, it’s legit:
the athletes and players on the thrones there do sit.
He taught us of all of his strange, foreign ways,
of the nights of his football and his basketball days.
He was a strong man, not much taller than I,
but the size of his muscles could lift up the sky.
I did notice that whenever we made for a break,
the ladies of town he made an effort to shake.
He flaunted his muscles, told of his glory,
and never let anyone know a bad story.
The oddest thing was that he never did say
a single bad thing of his exploits far ‘way.
Of his coaches, his teammates, all he said was grand,
and for his friends, in front of a gun he would stand.
He was noble, in his own special way,
and the story he told us stuck with us that day.
“Now here,” said the athlete, “thus begins my tale,
a story of labor whose message shan’t fail.

‘Tis a story of farmers, of men of the land,
and a spry young assistant who had bigger plans.
Their employer—head farmer—was a good, honest man,
and across all the country for workers he scanned.
For one had retired, had left for grand things,
so the head farmer waited for what the wind brings.
And on that soft wind, a rumor he heard,
of a capable farmer who lived not far westward.
As fate would then have it, the young man arrived,
as of work and of rain were the west lands deprived.
The employer was glad, welcomed with open arms
this new worker to join the old crew on his farms.
The next morning, as the sun then did rise,
the cock crowed as bright colors then filled up the skies.
Already at work was the eldest of three,
of the other two workers, the oldest was he.
The man in the middle, in terms of his age,
was shooing the animals back into a cage.
But the youngest, the new boy, nowhere to be found!
He spent much of his time simply lounging around.
For his previous work as a farmer went well,
with so little effort he clearly excelled.
But as time went by
his crops started to die
for these fields much larger, required more care,
and when his yield failed, he exclaimed, “It’s not fair!
For when I did work in those fields to the west,
I could plant and then water, and then simply rest!”
But his employer, with a firm face, replied:
“It’s because of your laziness these crops have all died.
These fields are much bigger than the ones that you knew,
where seeds and water were all that you threw.
Work hard or you’ll starve, let pride not in your way,
or in this same place you’ll be destined to stay.

And so as the next growing season began,
the young worker realized he must act like a man.
After his last season's terrible yield,
he dedicated all of his time to the field.
For he knew if he did not do so,
the farmer would have to let him go.
The other two workers watched him plow,
and the middle aged worker laughed at how
the youngest was plowing so incorrectly.
The oldest then showed him how to plow perfectly.
Considering his terrible crop the past year,
the youngest decided to give him his ear.
The season went on and as his crops grew,
there was enough food for a thousand stews.
Upon seeing his beautiful, bounteous production,
the youngest decided to go to the function
where the farmer was situated.
The youngest asked kindly, the farmer’s look jaded,
for a raise for all his great work.
The farmer responded: “Don’t be a dork.
You've only had one good and prosperous season.
That doesn’t give me a good enough reason
to give you an increase in your pay, in your money.
You're honestly lucky to be earning this, honey.
Until you can show me you can keep this going,
that attitude’s something you need to be stowing.
Work diligent, fast, and prove what you can do,
and perhaps I will give you an increased paycheck, too.”

After his bountiful second season,
the youngest really had no thought or reason
to believe that he couldn't do it again,
as soon as his third season did come to an end.
CJ, the youngest, longed to show his worth,
the farming skills he'd had since birth.
He was determined that his third season
would be the best ever, dismissing others for treason.
He did not think to work, especially not very hard,
He even picked up the hobby of being a bard.
Instead of residing in the fields all day,
he stayed inside, drinking, being merry and gay.
He thought that he would still have a wonderful yield
without putting too much work into the field.
When it was the time to collect the harvest,
you could rightfully say that he was the farthest
from having the same giant yield from last year.
Then he decided he would go drink some beer.
He went to the farmer to ask for a raise,
he really needed the extra money these days.
The farmer shot him down like the boy, the wolf crier,
CJ said he worked hard, the farmer called him a liar.
CJ stormed outside and, full of rage, hoed the field,
for he promised himself he would have a good yield!
In his rage, his foot he did hoe,
And, By God!, that was quite a blow.
Throughout all of his pain,
he knew he had something to gain.
He decided to try a new thing, to Tebow,
He prayed to God bringing his knee to elbow.
He realized he had been quite dumb
and knew that he shouldn't have been such a bum.
He vowed to himself, but we'll never know
what his future yields, if he’d reap what he sowed.
And yes, it’s true, his foot really was quite gory,
so now you know the rest of the story.

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