Prosperity's Web, A Poem - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
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Prosperity's Web, A Poem

Author:

Mark Tulin is an author, poet, and short-story writer who lives by the avaricious central coast.

a-materialistic-poem

A Materialistic Tale

What does having money mean if we aren't happy? Is money the root of all evil? Or is the obsessive pursuit of the all mighty dollar the culprit?

This poem is about a friend who got lost in prosperity's web. Dan became successful in many eyes--had loads of money, a yacht, and perhaps a flock of seagulls flying overhead. But he ended up a lonely old soul whose only company was his status symbols and a newly varnished deck overlooking a swimming pool. Enjoy the poem and listen to me on YouTube.

Prosperity's Web


Dan was my best friend

and a cool guy

in the late 60s

when we were naive,

a succession of stickball games,

cheesesteaks, and Saturday matinees


We followed paths of spontaneity,

sought excitement

without teachers, parents, or books

We played street ball, rolled joints

and neither of us intended

to become uptight adults


But then Dan’s maturity kicked in,

changed his life for the better, he thought

A productive member of society

who put away his childish toys,

foolish joys, and misguided friends


Dan gave up his freedom,

changed from easygoing to anxiety-ridden,

lost himself in wealth and power,

a closet full of meaningless possessions


He got a job, then another,

developed quite an avaricious appetite,

traded a house for one much larger,

lost himself in the power of corruption

and drove a new silver Rolls Royce


Dan sold out,

sung a materialistic tune

and never wonders

about his childhood friends

or growing old too soon


Dan's life is highly predictable,

lounges on the newly-varnished deck,

has a yacht tied to the dock,

overfed, divorced, with two spoiled kids,

stuck in a life that he didn’t foresee,

chained to a world of prosperity.



Comments

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

Me too, Anya

Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on October 09, 2020:

Nice read! I love narrative poetry.

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

I’ve also lost a friend to career obsession as well. Just too busy. Thanks, Shauna.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 09, 2020:

So sad that Dan lost the excitement and wonder of innocence. As they say, money can't buy happiness.

It must be hard for you to have lost your friendship to material possessions, Mark.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 09, 2020:

Mark,

I love Lorna's comment.

She really has this right.

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

Thank you, Ankita

Ankita B on October 09, 2020:

Great poem, Mark. Very thoughtful and touching.

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

Very true, Brenda. You can’t fake happiness.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 09, 2020:

Mark,

I know a few like this also. It seems they have the world in their hands.

But I wonder how he really feels when he sits out there on that deck all alone.

It is a sad existence to pretend happiness without feeling it.

Great write.

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

Thanks, Renita. Blind ambition is always treacherous.

Rinita Sen on October 09, 2020:

It makes me sad for Dan, this poem. This is harsh reality. Thank you for writing this. Money is essential, of course, but if that is all you care for, you'd eventually end up friendless. Really touching poem and beautifully narrated.

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

Very good point, Lorna. Being grateful for the things we have is a much better plan than the pursuit of more and more.

Mark Tulin (author) from Santa Barbara, California on October 09, 2020:

I guess we all want to have success, but many of us don’t know how to handle it without losing ourselves. Thanks, John.

Lorna Lamon on October 09, 2020:

Perhaps it's all about gratitude which helps us appreciate the good things in our lives, resulting in feelings of happiness. However, if your happiness is dependent on materialistic wealth, then you will never have enough and sadly this leads to feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Your wonderful poem paints a very clear picture of this for me Mark - well written and thoughtful.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 09, 2020:

An excellent poem, Mark. Yes, the lure of success and the all mighty dollar can change people like Dan. What is success if it is full of anxiety and without contentment and happiness?