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Rhyme of no reason
Lying in my bed, forlorn/ I feel a rhyme a-coming on/ Sometimes it just happens so/ A column comes like calypso/ At least, it happened once before/ my rhyme about our civil war/ That totally Trini coup that failed/ even to have its rebels jailed/ Glance at the calendar and I see/ we’re days from that anniversary/ Could it be the good imam-uh/ conjures up my snake charmer? But what really worries me/ today’s not mock poetry.
No, what worries me this morn/ is why I’m feeling so forlorn/ Could it be the book I’m reading/ is where my discontent is breeding? It’s a contender, without doubt/ given what it’s all about/ Lent to me by my friend Judy/ Raymond who really should be/ aware enough of my obsession/ with death, our final (only?) lesson/ than to focus in my brain/ the one mystery we can’t explain.
The birth of God came from our death/ but most won’t accept that just yet/ Julian Barnes, of “Flaubert’s Parrot”/ brings to mind Judas Iscariot/ There I was, quite undismayed/ ‘til I read it and was betrayed/ Barnes’ book’s what has me reeling/ rollercoaster rides of feeling/ My heart and very resolve shook/ on every page of this great book/ “Nothing to Be Frightened Of”/ it’s called and as with Nabokov/ the reader burns in admiration/ of the writing. Consternation/ though, soon sets in quickly/ and the reader feels quite sickly.
Good Catholic boy that I was raised/ knows that God is to be praised/ for the breath of life He gives/ to everything that, through Him, lives/ Good apostate that I became/ is left with no one now to blame/ God saves the souls of His own creatures/ A hundred million manic preachers/ testify to His great wonders/ where I discern only His blunders/ Life after death must be real grim/ for anyone abandons Him.
But can the living fail to doubt/ omnipotence that has no clout? Or omnipresence that turns ghost/ exactly when it’s needed most? Or omniscience that cannot see/ what is plain to you and me? What kind of God sees children suffer/ and makes their hard lives even tougher? But wicked as that God might be/ He saves His from insanity/ A human life is short, it’s true/ but far too long for me and you/ to sustain joy with real conviction/ while shuffling towards our own extinction/ Without a God, what hope can save/ me or Julian from the grave?
Remove belief and you steal hope/ from who’d dangle from their own rope/ by the neck, and end the pain/ of having to come to terms again/ as rationalists must do, always sourly/ daily, weekly, often hourly/ with the hardest most dread fact /all that awaits us is cold and black/ When God takes in all His slack/ only the abyss gazes back/ Most things won’t happen, but death will/ Reposition nose to grindstone still/ Julian Barnes’ words delight me/ even as my absurd plight he/ paints, with courage I admire/ the final flickering of our fire/ High truth just don't get much higher/ we blaze with glory… on the funeral pyre.
Barack Obama, angel of Minsh/ made racist America flinch/ Nelson Mandela did the same/ Noble men deserving fame/ But, dead and gone, we’re all the same/ Yes, we can make the world better/ But none of us has yet beat death, huh! The good Pope we have now will anoint/ a hundred saints, still—what’s the point?
How can we, with conscious mind/ accept we cease, by God’s design? For if we have to bet, by Crikey/ firetruck Pascal, Nothing’s more likely/ 2,000 years of superstition/ cannot erase God’s own oblivion/ But now I come to see, at last/ why churches hate iconoclasts/ People who sidestep illusion/ will not partake of God-delusion/ Subtract God, and you gain reason/ which, for religion, equals treason/ My meaninglessness, my fear/ for believers is just not there/ Major mortal concerns like mine/ vanish before the divine/ Nor do believers need to think/ of anything beyond the brink/ except a personal paradise complete/ with ‘virgin to blaze’ and ‘thing to eat’.
My mind staggers at total ignorance/ as prizes virginity, blesses intolerance/ a billion Muslims know for sure/ illiteracy keeps women pure/ Imams need must create ‘heresy’/ or cartoons remain comedy/ Which priest, which pastor, which rabbi/ has courage to face the dark like I? Are there six “One True Ways”, interwoven? Or only a superstitious half-dozen? If Allah alone is our Lord/ that puts Jesus to the sword/ And if Jah blesses ganja/ how dare Jehovah talk back to answer? Either they’re all right and strong/ or every religion is damned wrong/ The truth is there for all to see/ but blind faith and hypocrisy/ will praise God and damn me.
And Sunni will not go back to Sharia/ and Baptists are Buddhist pariah/ and Mormons, Jews and C of E/ piss on Scientology/ and all of them dismiss the Rastas/ same old slaves, just new masters.
No church will move, not one will dare/ from their own God to one we share/ They’ll blind themselves with their own lies/ own truths, own prayers, own paradise/ For if they could take that first step, Lord/ it’s bound to lead them to “No God”/ Religions moved from pantheons/ to each having just one/ (except Hindus, who still feel/ plenty gods is a better deal)/ And if they dared to worship just one/ It needs must lead to having none/ And then they would turn into me/ and lose their prized eternity/ in a Heaven that is not there/ except to help them get through here.
But firetruck me if the blessed Lord/ did not make me His man overboard.
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