The Generous and the Selfish – a sonnet

I am writing a long sequence of sonnets that will see publication in 2023. I thought it might be fun to share some of them in advance.

A sonnet is included below, along with an audio recording of me reading it.

The Generous and the Selfish

Fearing the diagnosis, his vaccine was to spend,
see giving as immunisation, a cellular legacy.
There was nothing he would not lend
as if philanthropy set him free.

Yet it failed to silence the abuse
from those who could not give,
those shackled by a primitive urge to steal, to use
to plunder and then live
self-condemned, alone,
undone by an instinct to deceive.

There’ll be no fanfare when they have gone
taken their slinking leave
defeated by generosity’s majesty
and never knowing how it’s best to be.