The heart of the king is like channels and rills,
and in the LORD's hand, it is turned where he wills.
The way of all men will seem right in their eyes,
the LORD weighs the heart of both fool and the wise.
The LORD is more pleased with the right way we live
than any of our sacrifices we give.
The eyes of the haughty and heart of the proud,
are sin in God's eyes as are fields they have plowed.
The plans of the diligent lead to success,
those rushing in haste become poor and have less.
A fortune that's made by a liar is moot,
as fleeting as mist and a deadly pursuit.
The LORD will destroy those of violence one day,
for they refuse living their lives the right way.
The way of the guilty is vile and debased,
but as for the righteous, his conduct is chaste.
Tis better to live on a roof in the cold
than share the whole house with a wife who's a scold.
The soul of the wicked craves evil and sin;
his neighbor discovers no favor in him.
When mockers are punished, the simple grow wise;
the wise gain more knowledge when they are advised.
God knows where the homes are that wicked men own;
because they are wicked, they'll be overthrown.
Those shutting their ears when the destitute plead
will be ignored also in their time of need.
One's anger is soothed when a gift is revealed,
and wrath is subdued when a bribe is concealed.
When justice is done, there is joy for the right,
but not for the wicked -- there's terror and fright.
Those straying from where paths of common sense led
will find they're condemned with the realm of the dead.
Whoever loves pleasure will be poor one day;
rich food and rich wine drain their riches away.
The wicked are ransomed for those who are just,
and faithless in place of the honest you trust.
Tis better to live in a desert alone
than live with a shrew and be nagged to the bone.
The wise store up oils and food that he's bought,
but fools will consume it as soon as they're got.
The one who pursues righteousness will then find
a full life of glory and honor, combined.
A wise man will scale a great high city wall
and cast down its greatest defenses of all.
Whoever keeps mouth and tongue under control
will keep himself safe and will guard his own soul.
He's arrogant, haughty, and proud -- choose a name;
he's insolent, ignorant, eager to blame.
The lust of the sluggard will help him be killed,
for his hand won't labor, no matter how skilled.
All day he is greedy and craves ever more,
the righteous are giving much more than before.
The wicked man's sacrifice is an offence,
how much more when brought with such evil intents!
A witness that's bearing a falsehood will die,
but credible witnesses will testify.
A wicked man has a bold face he displays,
but as for the upright, he makes sure his ways.
There's no understanding, no wisdom, no plan
to stand against Yahweh -- there's nothing that can.
A horse is prepared for the day of the sword,
but help and salvation will come from the LORD.
This poem won second place for the September 2023 poetry contest