It troubled my mind | This material want
Obsession with progress | I called it
The precious stones | I kept in a sack
And used to pay ransom | To my greed
I amassed wealth | With both hands
Threw coins at those | Seeking bribes
The money I made | Mollified my mind
I lost sense of myself | In euphoria
The gold and silver | Glittered like stars
I was intoxicated | By opulence
On life’s journey | I saw a few people
But I paid them | Scant attention
Many loved ones | Hovered around me
Who had the time | For relationships?
I loathed nearness | It filled me with fear
What did the rascals | Want from me?
I walked alone | On the path of life
Had no desire to | Meet anyone
Then suddenly today | I met my Fate
Stopped in my tracks | Stood frozen
With my own eyes | I countenanced Death
Surrendered to it | Penniless
Poet’s Footnote: If you found the structure of this poem unusual, it is because it was written in the style of the 17th century poet-saints of Maharashtra, the Indian state I am from. Their simple poems, written in my native language of Marathi, were what taught me right from wrong, then and now. I first wrote this poem in Marathi and then translated it into English.