See that fool, the hairy one in tat­tered clothes,
the lunatic who looks as if his brain’s on fire?

His mar­ket stall, fly-blown, and in the sun,
is by that woman who reads futures in palms.

We were boy­hood friends, but heaven knows,
even then his prophecy was bleak and dire.

A wind­bag for sure, but he’s well received
as a true voice of the inscrutable and divine.

The priest now says he’s been deceived—
his utter­ances have crossed the line.

The priest’s boys roughed him up, for fun
they said—bearded him and took his alms.

   I told him, Brother, even though you’re blind
   and a prophet, bear those priests in mind.


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