Poem ‘Keeping it Simple’

Uprising fist

Uprising fist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was you who said that
it’s not what you earn but
how little you need. That
was the way to fly
in their face— living
within your means
is no good to them. They
want your soul, your very
soul, make it drown
in debt and fed
on all the salt
and fat
and lies you can swallow.

And they want you bound
to their state, you said,
their secret,
silent state. Well, I don’t
know about that, but
your answer was simple, a firm riposte
which said ‘no’. It meant
watching the pennies
and paying your dues. Keeping it
not listening
to the news

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012



  1. claudia · September 1, 2012

    i think keeping it simple and not spending more money than we have is not at all a bad way to live life…keeps us independent…. and mobile..


  2. brian miller · September 1, 2012

    i feel this rebellion deeply….they want you to spend and hook the chains of debt around you…it keeps you in line…i def dont subscribe to it after breaking free of it a few years ago…def agree with living within your means…which takes diligence…


  3. Susan L Daniels · September 1, 2012

    make it drown
    in debt and fed
    on all the salt
    and fat
    and lies you can swallow

    Yes. I love this poem. Beautifully drawn and strongly said.


  4. lscotthoughts · September 1, 2012

    Perfectly well said, David! I really like this one; the way you conveyed the message and the message itself!


  5. The Course of Our Seasons · September 1, 2012

    Love this, David.Keeping it simple – indeed! K


  6. Tony · September 1, 2012

    Living within your means as rebellion – what a strange concept and one I’ve practiced all my life. Of course, if we all did that, the world economy would tank even worse than it has!


  7. E A M Harris · September 1, 2012

    I really like this. Political poetry is rare these days, but some things need to be said as forcefully as possible, and poetry is very forceful.


  8. Laurie Kolp · September 1, 2012

    want your soul, your very
    soul, make it drown
    in debt and fed
    on all the salt
    and fat
    and lies you can swallow.

    Powerful stuff… I like your ending solution.


  9. Mama Zen · September 1, 2012

    Amen! These days, that is the ultimate rebellion!


  10. ManicDdaily · September 1, 2012

    Yes – powerful message – I think not joining into consumerism a real rebellion! (Says me on one of more-than-one Apple devices! – Oh well. I don’t own so much other than computer equipment.) k.


  11. Christy Birmingham · September 1, 2012

    ‘watching your pennies and paying your dues’ – I think this poem itself is priceless.


  12. Jessica · September 1, 2012

    I love this poem. The concept is superior, and many of us could learn a thing or two from this poem.


  13. soulsongsharonlee · September 1, 2012

    Keeping it simple…. I like that…. I like it a lot.
    Inspiring thoughts.


  14. Gemma Wiseman · September 2, 2012

    Political and social straitjackets get worn out then tend to be replaced with new and tighter ones! But your soul is the golden chalice that should never be for sale or trade!


  15. davidlandgrebe · September 2, 2012

    The first few lines ring true with my philosophy.
    Great poem David.

    David. L


  16. OrangeUaPoet · September 2, 2012

    Yes, sage advice indeed….and now I am living that walk the walk….it’s so liberating…how less is more.


  17. danadampier · September 2, 2012

    I can relate to your words… I feel sometimes that people want me to fail so they can take my money and laugh in my face.


  18. J Matthew Waters · September 2, 2012

    really enjoyed this piece especially the ending, nicely done.


  19. Bruce Ruston · September 2, 2012

    Good write keeping it simple not listening to the news good lines


  20. Three Well Beings · September 3, 2012

    Isn’t it just fascinating that a financially conservative life, not bound to supporting consumerism and out-of-control debt would have been exactly how my grandparents lived. And they certainly never once considered themselves counter-cultural or rebellious! I appreciate the message and the challenge. Debra


  21. Francina · September 3, 2012

    very well written thought provoking poem, David.


  22. Daydreamer · September 3, 2012

    Excellently done! Keeping it simple! It may not be easy but it’s the right thing to do! I love it!


  23. granbee · September 4, 2012

    Simplicity and focusing on the positives are such victorious life choices, I think.


  24. bardessdmdenton · September 6, 2012

    Material wants are such chains on our lives … on our souls! Very powerful piece!


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