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The Ballad of Jeremiah Macabenta

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Below is the poem entitled The Ballad of Jeremiah Macabenta which was written by poet Robert Uy. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Ballad of Jeremiah Macabenta

The King hosted a feast, 
   as it was his custom, 
to once a year, feed the least
   blessed in his kingdom.
So the ragged came in flocks
   and in the courtyard gathered, 
hushed in anticipation
   of, finally, a warm supper.
All the King's men guided
   them, so it will be orderly
along dozen long tables
   arranged conformingly.
The guests then sat, food was served, 
   each with equal servings; 
a plate of veggies, a cut of meat, 
   rice and corn soup steaming.

Among those who supped was
   Jeremiah Macabenta, 
perhaps the most haughty glutton
   of the millennia.
His infamy was that, amongst
   vagrants, he could
eat in one meal what 
   normally three men took.
Though he was looked upon
   as comically fat, 
his life as a rat 
   was tragically sad.
—having no means of living
   at that—
so to the King's dinner, an
   invitation, he got.

Back to the feast, after servings
   were done, 
Jeremiah called for one of
   the servers to come; 
He said, 'Look at my plate, 
   of meat, it has none.
Only veggies, rice and soup! '
   So the server gave him one.
Just then a cat with fur
   shiny and black
—which, according to myth, is
   the cause of bad luck—
suddenly jumped onto an
   eating lady's lap, 
who then shoo'ed it away; 
   to the table it leapt back.

Landing in chaos upon
   Jeremiah's place, 
exposing two pieces of meat
   he hid under his plate; 
caught red-handed, he'd only
   sheepishly grin, 
while the King's witnessed this, 
   much to his chagrin.
The King then ordered Jeremiah
   banished from the tables, 
of controlling his anger, 
   he was barely able; 
shocked that this tramp would
   abuse his charity, 
when he most wanted to
   treat his guests equally.

Now this is where it's not
   clearly distinguished
what truly transpired from
   only just gossip; 
for it was manifested that
   Jeremiah was punished, 
but the story that spread
   was incredibly horrid
It was said that Jeremiah
   was chained onto a rock   
and into his mouth, food was
   endlessly stuffed, 
till he choked and gasped
   and breathed his last air, 
while bits and morsels trickled
   down his nose and ear.

(And to confound the story 
   of Jeremiah's end, 
after the feast, he was never
   heard from again.)       

Perhaps the moral is this: 
   we should never take advantage
should the kindness that is
   shared to us we acknowledge, 
lest we fall into the pit
   of Jeremiah's plight
—in gluttony he lived, 
   in gluttony he died.

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