John Littlespuds, Gentleman

Clifton Meek

[image]John Littlespuds had no grandiose schemes
For reforming a world that was busting its seams,
His voice never rang in the councils of state
To thunder opinions, to praise or berate;
He was one little man of the millions who dwell
On this sad little earth that's not doing too well
And he longed for a world that was decent and clean
Instead of the things that were sordid and mean,
He didn't believe that the evil and wrong
That men had created perversely so long
Could be washed away with some new legal soap
By men in high places who bargain and grope.
"Reformers invariably fail to reach goal
By working their magic on some other soul,
Perhaps that is why there are so many duds
So I'll start with myself," said John Littlespuds.

And John was the busiest man to be seen
Just keeping his own little bailiwick clean;
He found he had bitten off quite a large chunk
When he started to clean out the rubbish and junk.
He was always so busy he didn't have time
To point out the others who stepped out of line;
When he opened the doors of his soul to the light
There were many dark corners that weren't just right —
Rather strange creatures and impish-like elf
He'd oft seen in others — but not in himself!

His spiritual timbers were sagging quite bad —
He was simply amazed what a shanty he had!
He worked with a will to rebuild and restore
[image]Till his spiritual muscles were aching and sore.
His blueprints included no dogmas or creeds —
His religion was written in all of his deeds;
While others would whine and complain of their lot
And predict the Cosmos was going to pot
He calmly accepted each task as it came
For he knew Littlespuds was the man he could blame.
Before we can look for the world to improve
We all have some mire on our souls to remove,
Deep-seated stains neatly tucked all away
Destined to come to the surface one day.
Such is the saga of John Littlespuds
Who's restored quite a few of his rafters and studs;
His spiritual bailiwick no longer leans
And his own little doorstep is tidy and clean.

(From Sunrise magazine, February 1952; copyright © 1952 Theosophical University Press)

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