Nikos and His Donkey by Robert Bly

Thursday, 11 December 2003

Let's tell the sweet story about the day Nikos,
Wandering around with his donkey and saddlebags, 
Turned up one day at a farm of Godseekers.

The Godseekers all came out when he knocked.
They welcomed him, gave him tea, brought
His donkey to the stable for oats and water.

"Stay for supper," they said. How glad he was!
They drank tea for hours. Dinner came.
They all ate happily and began to dance.

The Godseekers sang two lines over and over:
"Compared to God's our song is only a bray;
How beautiful is the scent of a thousand hairs!"

In the morning, he said, "Could I have my donkey?"
They said: "What do you mean, your donkey?
You ate the meal! You danced. You sang the songs!"

The donkey we have loved for years may be killed
And cooked one day while we go on singing.
So don't write a single poem without gratitude.