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From http://www.well.com/~bubbles/Poetry/LessonsInPain.txt

                      Lessons in Pain


When the evil ruler arrives in the Martyr's Paradise
May he begin to learn.  

May the maidens who serve his carnal desires
Begin to arouse deeper feelings.  
Little by little, over eons of eternity, 
May he learn to share his soul.  

Then once he has learned love, 
Let him learn pain:   
Beyond the physical pain of fire or falling buildings, 
Let him know the cutting short of hopes and dreams, 
The desperation of having to choose one death over another, 
The fallen comrades and the empty firehouse, 
The child whose parents will never return, 
And the emptiness of the hole in the heart 
  when a loved one's fate is simply Unknown.  

Let every death that has brought him joy
Now bring its full measure of sorrow.  

And then ...

Knowing that whatever we ask for others we also ask for ourselves, 
And that I too have caused my share of pain, 
Once we have known the pain we have caused, 
Let the gods be merciful.  



                                       -- Tom Digby
                                       Written 18:16 12/19/2001
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