Jealous Thrifty Gods

Frugality is all in your world.
Everything must stand still
Or if it moves, must flow only into itself
Never out nor lost, a pound of flesh
From where no blood must drop.
Your God is a jealous god
A god more exacting than those
That we ordinary mortals swear by.
He gives, as he must, what you ask for
But you must never ever use his gifts
To halo clan or friend with the bounty of wine
Or the cosiness of racing hearts in love.
Excess must be buttressed by economy
Bordering on paucity
For you must, in all things, be thrifty
Spending only to earn more
Earning more only to put away from use
While we peck at the little crumbs that come our way
To please a friend or colour an occasion.

Samir Raiti Mtamba is a Zimbabwean poet and prose writer of Malawian extraction (b. Harare, Zimbabwe, 1959) who has been published in many journals in the English-speaking world. He studied at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College and did graduate studies at Dalhousie in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is a New Leftist by inclination and is grateful to be a recluse and an independent researcher. Read other articles by Samir Raiti.