Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The charcoal collector

Be prudent, Invest in gold, they said.
What use is of gold to me? I thought.
Gold is a tawdry shiny metal in my closet,
Which is worth some dimes only when I sell it.
Not contemplating, I invested in dark coal charcoal,
Coal is a catalyst and a propellent, I was taught in school.
With all my savings, I bought them all,
All the charcoal I could possess.
I saved it in my prettiest boxes,
These boxes, a family inheritance was adorned with jewels
 I gathered over 3 decades, very exorbitant purchases.
I hand picked the coal and placed them in my box, 
Glancing at them with delight and pride. 
After 100 sleepless nights, when the last box was closed,
I was struck by disbelief.
The boxes appeared tainted and drab, 
the jewels sparkled no more. 
Would gold have tarnished my boxes, I
I mused and brushed the thought away. 
No trains run on charcoal anymore,
Electric trains are cleaner and smokeless. 
My fingers aren't long, fine or tender like an artist's,
 to generate from the coal beautiful 
Sketches of children, landscapes or animals. 
Stubborn to vanquish defeat,
Exhausted and dozy, I transferred the coal to the new boxes,
the fancy ones, stain resistant. 
On the 10th working day, my reflection on the 1000th
stainless steel box surface spotted a glimpse of me. 
It saw black blotches all over me.
It saw an imbecile buffoon, inert to the laughing audience. 
I was still cautiously placing the coals,
In the new box, in order, one by one. 

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