For the beggar on the corner

Hard
to keep your balance
when you lose your footing –
or your foot…arm, leg, eye
on the John Wayne Highway
to make the world safe
for democracy… or Monsanto,
Exxon…I don’t know
Godamn-Sachs, the gospel
according to Matthew, Mark
Locke and Smith.

Separation
of church and state, my ass,
more like separation of life and limb.
Don’t quite see it? Hard to face
when it might cost you
that year-end holiday bonus.
THE HOLY DAYS OF SHOPPING
(Mammon was a pipsqueak)

God Bless
it said on the guy’s
curbside cardboard calling card –
hand written with a red marker
and of course the maimed vet believes !
Who wouldn’t hope for a fair shake
in the next round.

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New Testament Hogwash

Luke says Heli was Joseph’s father
Jacob’s the one that Matthew names –
beats me still why either’d bother
with any paternal geneological games
unless they were trying to make the case
for an earthly king – a political race –
that’s what messiah means in Hebrew shorthand
a Jewish king… for a tormented occupied land…

and that is probably what the first century bible authors were after.

Matthew can count back to David
in 26 go-rounds – It takes Luke 41 begats
to cover the exact same ground.
One gospel takes him back to Nathan
the other via Solomon’s son
but nowhere even a minor ovation
for the Jewish Miriam’s annointed son.

That a man is a Jew by his mother
hasn’t yet occurred to either.
Any who could find such gospels infallible
are, by these lights, more than just gullible.

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My Hero

His birth is in some way miraculous
Sooner or later he is son of a god or a god himself.
His own people do not recognize him
and he dies a dramatic and sorrowful death —
Sound familiar?
Could be any one of a dozen
mythological or legendary characters,
invested with traits that seem to satisfy
a very wide-spread human need
for this kind of thing.

The figure known as Christ Jesus
[no one was called this in the 3rd century]
exhibits 19 of some two dozen such traits…
and the higher the number, the more likely
the character is purely fictional – mythological –
which is interesting, as Robin Hood
exhibits only 13.

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a ridiculously condensed synopsis of seminal works by Joseph Campbell,
F. R. S. Raglan, and Alan Dundes.

[Other examples Oedipus (22) Romulus (17) Hercules (17) Perseus (16) Zeus (15) Jason (15) Apollo (11) …]

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In the beginning. . .

When adults (like yourself)
picture the first man
they dream up a creature replete
with their own fears and worries,
yet when humanity
like some bright idea
dawned on this planet
we entered naked –
devoid of vanity –
pure, imperious, awed,
curious, indefatigable
as was the child you were –
and even that first tentative
encounter with eternal sleep –
a snail? a mouse? a fly? –
was a curiosity among so many
just as strange; it is only by and by…

Toddling infant does not
imagine himself. He is
unconscious living,
synonym of now – wiser
than the wisest sage; no need
for mediated values in the present tense;
he is beyond age, until language
invents imagination, shattering self
into experience
and memory.

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Clarification

Get thee beyond
          Sister Margaret’s
                    second grade

    This is verily-cum-truly
        The Day The Lord Hath Made

    Cierge wax may be waning
           but the lux Light’s the same

     If Life’s a brief candle
            THIS DAY
                      is the flame.

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[I think the plainest truths might serve us longer]

I think the plainest truths might serve us longer –
together,  better ways we could devise –
ceremonies that might make us stronger –
rid ourselves – at last – of ancient lies!
Surely if we try we’ll find a way
of witnessing both joy and deepest sorrow –
celebrate great light – O Wondrous Day –
free of any falsehoods for tomorrow –
rituals too that help us share elation
at a joyous marriage  or a birth
and the baby’s naming celebration –
rites that speak to us down on this earth!
   Bring solace to a loved ones’ mournful grief
   minus all that counterfeit relief.   

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In Nomine Patris

I don’t believe in god – now that’s a fact –
but neither do I claim to be all-knowing;
I judge the myriad creeds by how they act
and frankly guys, your Inquisition’s showing;
to be quite clear, I don’t just slander catlicks;
hindus, jews and muslims seem no better;
and any books inscribed with hateful tactics
should not inspire obedience to the letter.  
The tribal nature of the world’s religions
has caused them all to be a source of hate
no more refined than cats loosed among pigeons –
when they have pow’r they wield it, soon or late.
     The evils of believing beg rebuke –
     I’ll bet what’s done in His name makes Him puke

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