If only I hadn’t been a phoney,
If only I wasn’t so ornery,
If only I had lived more holy,
Maybe I wouldn’t now be so lonely,
And abandoned to infamy.
If only I were not so haughty,
Not so quick and eager to demean,
If only I hadn’t sneered so gloatingly,
Perhaps I wouldn’t have been
So coldly betrayed by my cronies,
And reduced to such lowly misery.
And if only I did not so boldly
Lust after that slender trophy,
I wouldn’t now be a bereft nobody,
Deprived of my loyal humble wife—
The only one ever true to me
In my entire life………
Now I know……..if only I had just…..
I wouldn’t be …..be drifting in regret
Poem released into Public Domain
The inspiration for this poem is the above picture from the Eastern depiction of Hell , where one of the punishments for those who have spent their whole lives attached to impermanent temporal pleasures and affairs is to be made to watch the assets and wealth they have accumulated in life scatter in the course of impermanence after their deaths. Their anguish is their regret for not having been a better person and accumulated surplus merits and blessings for themselves and their still living wives and children.