Every man must

Understand the soul

Inside the body

He sees looking back

From the glass

The surface only—

Not enough—

It is the flow of


And love

Just below

That holds his All together:

Every woman too.


With oxygen rushing in

Carbon dioxide spilling out

Like a water fall

Urging the river to flow

The body,

Which holds the soul,

Is made new

Every moment of the day—

A heart receiving

Old blood and

Then rejuvenating—

But dying all the time:

Our flesh holds it in but

It does not stay.


When the frame

Which holds the true art


Receives an idol’s praise—



Affluence and


An idol’s pace becomes

The engine of a train

And chugs the smoke

Of more and

Further an


Of I or me and

Me and me

Like a parrot repeating what

He wishes he had heard.


It is often


That the head held highest

The chest that is full

The voice that charges into the room

Like a bull knocking

Hands together to

Produce his own


Deserves the loudest


Oh no.


Instead . . .


It is the man

Who knows his soul—

The smudges of grey

The shadow applied

With a line of paint

Too thick

To hide—

Who scatters his Joy

When others

Have won and

Seeks the


Of his weakness

With no trace of Pride.


A lowering of the head—

Not to be served

But to serve—

Imbues the hues

Of the soul

With radiance


And, besides,

Brings peace and life

To his bones.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller‘s painting, Hieroglyphica.  Incidentally, this is my favorite of his paintings!  http://www.heikomueller.de)