This is the Poem that Jim carried in his wallet. It is called THE COLD WITHIN and was written in the 1960′s by James Kinney. Jim’s version was slightly altered from the original. The original words are in parentheses below.
Six humans trapped by happenstance
In bleak and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood
Or so the story’s told.
Their dying fire in need of logs
The first woman (man) held his back
For of the faces round the fire
She (He) noticed one was black.
The next man looking ‘cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes.
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy shiftless poor.
The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight.
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.
The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.
Their logs held tight in death’s still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without
They died from the cold within.
This is then what I added:
But enter Senior Jim, for no job was too big for him.
He looked at the near death-six, searched among their sticks
And found a light so dim.
Jim huffed it and he puffed it. The fire flared to life.
The near-death six, now clutching their sticks
Looked up bewildered and sick.
“Now stop your nonsense,” Senior Jim said.
“Look into your hearts! What do you see?
Forget about black, white, rich, poor, gay or straight!
The whole world is watching us – we’re the last hope of fate.
In 1776… remember the date?
We are Americans, and it’s no mystery
Diversity is our history.”
And it was in this way Senior Jim
Saved them from the cold that was within.
Greetings everyone to my first blog post. It’s appropriate as an immigrant from the British Isles that I deliver it on April 23 – William Shakespeare’s birthday and 52 years later to the day, his death in 1616.