1. Sweepstakes

From the recording Desolate Heaven

Reimagining an old speech. Thought of it when I entered a sweepstakes for a microphone. Thought what an idiot I am. I don't need a microphone, I need to win integrity. Or an understanding of poverty. Or something other than stuff.


Come purchase a chance! We’re raffling off poverty
Play for the privilege of doing without
One lucky loser will take home humility
Failure will teach you what heaven’s about

Mothers who mourn--you shall be comforted
Raw bleeding hearts, you shall be healed
And all the forgotten who so far have nothing
You'll own the mountains and rivers and fields

You never again might have this opportunity
Blamed and mistreated for sweet mercy’s sake
Relinquish at last the pursuit of prosperity
Give away more than you ever can take

You labored for peace where there was hostility
You will inherit a rolling estate
And if you are starving for justice and empathy
Sooner or later you’ll celebrate

Then prosper the preacher who advocates poverty
Praises the privilege of dreaming in doubt
Lord of the losers whose strength is humility
Winning at failure and seeking us out

Mothers this morning comforting travelers
Heartwarming healers harvesting yields
Bequeathed and begotten of generous mobility
Roaming the mountains and rivers and fields
(c) Dave Nealon 2016