Home > Poetry > Learning To Listen

Learning To Listen

for Ray LaMontagne and Leo Tolstoy

You never know where the spirit is gonna come down.

Once on the greyhound,

I had the misfortune, or so I thought at the time,

of sitting behind a foul smelling, nearly toothless old drunk, who muttered to himself incessantly.

I tried to hide behind the novel I was reading and hoped to God he’d leave me alone.

No such luck.

“What ya reading?”

I ignored him.

“God damned nose stuck in book.”

Still ignored him.

“What ya reading?” the question came again,

and this time I looked up,

When I looked up none of the details had changed,

I was still looking at a none too pleasant smelling transient who was most likely drunk and crazy,

but somehow,


he was beautiful.

I was looking at the very face of God.

Whatever this man had to say,

I needed  to listen.

Wish I could tell you he imparted some great wisdom,

really he didn’t, it was just the ramblings of a lunatic drunk,

and after that split second I saw him the way anyone else would have seen him,

but still I listened.

That, I think, was the point.

Categories: Poetry
  1. June 27, 2010 at 3:51 am

    some reason looking into the face of God just seems so crazy amazing. i love those glimpses

  2. June 27, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Oh, this is lovely. Not the ending I expected. I like being surprised. Nice job!

  3. July 1, 2010 at 11:01 am


  4. July 1, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Welcome to Thursday Poets Rally Week 24:

    First, please read the questions and respond:


    Then, Post an original poem in your own blog, and place your link in under the following post to participate:

    Now, visit and comment for a minimum 18 poets from week 24 participants list, after you are done, comment to let Jingle know, you are in perfect shape then…

    Awards are given by Jingle via notifications….

    Make sure that you: return favors to poets who have visited your blog
    Have visited 18 poets NEW to you.

    Thank You for the attention.
    Happy Thursday!
    Happy Poetry Reading and writing!

  5. July 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    As my late daddy always said “God is everywhere and you should look for Him whatever you are doing or saying or wherever you are. You might miss a blessing”. My daddy(a Baptist Preacher for over 56 years)passed away 4 years ago this past February. He had turned 80 a month to the day before he passed. My daddy suffered from Alzheimers for 18 years.

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