Poems of the Week

Dust to Dust

by Julia Griffin

“An Iranian hermit nicknamed the ‘world’s dirtiest man’ for not taking a shower for more than half a century
has died at the healthy old age of 94, state media has reported. … In 2014, the Tehran Times reported that Haji
would eat roadkill, smoke a pipe filled with animal excrement, and believed that cleanliness would make him ill.
Photos showed him smoking multiple cigarettes at once.”
The Guardian

Come, let’s mourn the Dirty Hermit!
We shall see his like no more:
Sad Iranians confirm it:
He has died at 94.

Clean-fanatics loudly holler
Hygiene shibboleths galore:
Dirty Haji in his squalor
Lived and throve to 94,

Eating roadkill, smoking feces—
All the cigs his mouth could store;
PhDs, revise your theses!
Still he puffed at 94.

Praise him now, the great correctant
Of those myths held truths before;
Throw away your disinfectant:
You may live till 94.