Faith

Truth being the dimly lit wick of falsehood
a blind eye gospel foiling all ifs and coulds
wordy credences offering low rent relief
sin’s tithe sipped from the chalice of belief
gobbling the wafer of the approval portal
swings the chariot low for the demons’ removal
but unlike a temple’s blend of mortar and bricks
reality and comfort are a manna unmixed
for life consists of pinball tender hard
wearing velveteen slippers and walking on shards
dodging volleys of fire just to drink from the well
guided by the peal of grace’s often indifferent bell
burnished shrines serve not as flotation devices
as the inevitable dark river of egress rises
more embracing intestacy for all seeds every sown
alongside a fearless faith in the unforeseeable unknown

Settling into Wendell Berry’s “Enriching the Earth” Bliss

I grew up on a family farm so many years ago
putting seeds into soil, the planting cycle ruled our life
harvest time the payoff but only if God graced our crop
but I ran away at my first chance, taking me a city wife

We were kids, unprepared to be bigger than our age
it failed ’cause I didn’t care which way the wind blew
then Uncle Sam asked me “wanna be in my family?”
not knowing much of nothing, I upped to start anew

I called my Daddy, telling him I was now a GI Joe
he was surprised I had chosen such a row to hoe
one of taking orders and being at others’ command
but with clarity of kill or be, it’s just you and your foe

So I settled in for 20, a long and stagnant run
a time of chasin’ women, tryin’ somehow to connect
always knowing I was bound to beat myself
living out the ancient lifelong birth defect

Now I’m out and as purposeless as my younger days
more pillar to post rambling, just like I was before
but I’m wiser on the basis of some written words
a book loaned, a poem read, a striking at my core

So I’m heading back home to work on the family farm
Dad needs some help, what with his older, slower ways
the tiller and the tractor faintly pulling at my memory
furrows in the fields and now spread all across his face

What I’ve come to see is a connection blessed be
the farmer and land being bonded in seasonal symmetry
connected to one another in a way I couldn’t see before
it’s a thread of timeless truth woven out of viability

Mother Nature, some call her a most fickle mistress
but so much less than any bastard land dominionist
I’ll hook my wagon to her and be grateful for the ride
aware of what my head and heart so heedlessly missed

Twisted Human Roots

Johnny Spillane be my name
I’m neither of fortune or fame
but with my able hardy back
I climbed out of the potato sack
and made a family and a living

Life was bleak in County Cork
me the twelfth arrival of the stork
my family had neither land
nor any opportunity at hand
so I shipped off to Ameri-cay

Having no papers or money
oh, that land of milk and honey
she was mighty, mighty harsh
it being ‘no dogs and no Irish’
so I did what I had to do

Getting off that bottom rung
was no sweet sung song
the dollars and coins were sweated
as I obeyed and marionetted
biding my time all the while

Then I caught me a lucky break
an offer from a Mallow rake
to supply the needed muscle
enforcing his wayward hustle
so my pocket began to fill

Now, I sit behind a desk
others working at my behest
a society respected man
who started with nary a plan
blessed, if there be a God

My past, I keep it well hidden
when I was doing others’ bidding
for no one would ever believe
what I did so I could achieve
and drag myself out of the gutter

Now I’m acting like the Brits
it gives my elderly parents fits
scorning the powerless once like me
though they’re not any threat as I see
all they want is theirs to dream

We’ll Think for You

Plying misogny with his favorite, simony
was Pope Gregory’s corporate policy
those married priests, what a bugger to solve
starving wives and children just damage collateral

A hatred for vaginas, either minor and adult
protecting penises like a phallic-worshipping cult
a sweet spot for power and mass subjugation
collective disdain for over half of creation

Just like on earth as it is in so-called heaven
Pope powered genocide billed as killing without sin
Blood spilled, lives lost, all for imperial control
while the holy city lies in residence within us all

Ah, the devils do-ers in Avignon and Rome
selling title and salvation with hearts of stone
pardons for sale, heaven’s entrance for a price
and that’s only if the hierarchy wants to play nice

Shakedowns dressed up in finery and glory
while dispensing ‘our Fathers’ and hailing Marys
the abuse of children begets damage limitation
orbiting away from any fathomable spiritual direction

Off with the Cathars and the Anabaptists
woe to Hildegard especially but all heretics
the treatment of reason as a treason, ideas as threats
you’re with us or against us, place your bets

Galileo, the heretic, he should think the same
yet it’s rapacious priests shielded from shame
between being bastards and producing ’em as kin
deserving of placement in the apocalyptic dustbin

Try canonizing respect in a real life moment of zen
Silence the tongues preaching most Orwellian
It’s long past time for all to walk the Damascus Road
A living adherence to love’s labors’ found lost code

Divergences and Destinations

You’ve gone and traded it all for a crucifix
Become a stillborn clock that no longer ticks
Abandoning the abject for the chapel of relief
Closed eyes and ears, questioning’s ceased
From most defiant rebel to supine obedience
Newly coated with a veneer of benevolence

We gleefully downed many a wall of Jericho
Our trumpet blasts scattering the forces of woe
Now possessed by your guide book of bad and good
It tells exactly what you shouldn’t and should
‘Cause but one slight misstep of nuance or word
And down with a vengeance comes Damocles’ sword

So ladle guilt to the damned, condemn the worst
Crucify the afflicted, sink the arks of the cursed
Thumbs-up, thumbs-down fervent fealty newfound
Roman togas exchanged for Nepenthe’s satin gown
Does your thorny crown bring pleasure or pain?
Is it fool’s gold, divine treasure, of Abel or Cain?

Your baptism into the family of Abraham’s kin
Lends Jesus to fund the payroll of your sins
But what of the question on that that calvary cross?
He filled with mortal doubt, unsure of the cost
On his mapless trail towards destiny’s grail
Did he still succeed when tortured and nailed?

Stumbling at times into a land of barren hearts
My pain and hurt remains not an end but a start
Our route diverged, remaining no longer one
My salvation least of all from a favorite son
The rocky path of resistance, my chosen course
Mine of no regrets or hedging bets—just not yours

Descending Melancholy

The times when it descends
out of the blue
unpredictable
lacking rhyme and reason
a finely spun web of no escape
falling from the sky
the detachment of unconnected
feeding the soulless emptiness
an unremitting horizon
painting the cracks and corner
with godless fury

A Marx Upon Both Your Houses

The lucre beast is a mighty lure
alter of capitalist piety pure
it smudges the canvas, blurs the lens
ravages the sacred, eschewing amends
the allure of apples proffered by slithering serpents
becomes sanctity bartered, simple dollars and cents
the dismissal of history, the disposal of heirlooms
fueled by cavalier edict from circumspect-less boardrooms
the moneychanger temples draped in white wings of worship
boasting Trojan Horse services dispensing human catnip
the cohesive threads of community unraveling towards nil
bigger, faster, greater–an appetite never filled
blinded to the blunder in a black widow’s embrace
the mighty engine roars on making all places any place