Emanuel Xavier | |
knows the condom wrapped penetration
of strangers and lovers, deep inside
only a tear away from risk
knows bare minimum t-cell level counts,
replacing intoxicating cocktails
with jagged little pills
knows how to avoid a cure thanks to war
how to keep pharmaceutical corporations
and doctors in business
knows the weight loss desired
knows the fearless meaning of a friends genuine kiss or hug
converts non-believers to religion
values the support of luminaries
smiles at the solidarity
of single red ribbons
knows to dim the lights
to elude detection
how to shame someone into hiding
from the rest of the world
to be grateful for the gift of clothing
to remain silent, holding back the anger and frustration
knows that time on earth
is limited for all of us
that using lemons to make lemonade is better than drinking the Kool-Aid
but no matter how much you drink
you are always left dehydrated
knows working extensive hours
to pay hospital bills,
the choice of survival
or taking pleasure in what is left of life
knows the solid white walls
you want to crash through
and tear down
the thoughts of suicide
in the back of your head
knows the prosperous could be doing more with their wealth
and that everyone still thinks it is a deserving fate- for gays,
drug addicts, prostitutes,
and the unfortunate children of such
born into a merciless world of posh handbags and designer jewelry
knows how to be used as another percentage to profit politicians
knows it doesn’t only affect humans
but animals too, without bias
-providing fodder for art and something to be left behind
if there is a God
he has disregarded our prayers
left his angels behind to journey along with us
-none of us knowing exactly
where we are headed
Allama Iqbal | |
The soul of both of them is impatient and restless,
Both of them know not God, and deceive mankind.
One lives by production, the other by taxation,
And man is a glass caught between two stones.
The one puts to rout science, religion, art,
The other robs the body of soul, the hand of bread.
I have perceived both drowned in water and clay,
Both bodily burnished, but utterly dark of heart.
Life means a passionate burning, an urge to make,
To cast in the dead clay the seed of heart.
Ben Jonson | |
E P I G R A M S .
— TO FRANCIS BEAUMONT.
How I do love thee, BEAUMONT, and thy Muse,
That unto me dost such religion use !
How I do fear myself, that am not worth
The least indulgent thought thy pen drops forth !
At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak'st ;
And giving largely to me, more thou tak'st !
What fate is mine, that so itself bereaves ?
What art is thine, that so thy friend deceives ?
When even there, where most thou praisest me,
For writing better, I must envy thee.
More great poems below...
A R Ammons | |
I don't know somehow it seems sufficient
to see and hear whatever coming and going is,
losing the self to the victory
of stones and trees,
of bending sandpit lakes, crescent
round groves of dwarf pine:
for it is not so much to know the self
as to know it as it is known
by galaxy and cedar cone,
as if birth had never found it
and death could never end it:
the swamp's slow water comes
down Gravelly Run fanning the long
hair and narrowing roils between
the shoulders of the highway bridge:
holly grows on the banks in the woods there,
and the cedars' gothic-clustered
spires could make
green religion in winter bones:
so I look and reflect, but the air's glass
jail seals each thing in its entity:
no use to make any philosophies here:
I see no
god in the holly, hear no song from
the snowbroken weeds: Hegel is not the winter
yellow in the pines: the sunlight has never
heard of trees: surrendered self among
unwelcoming forms: stranger,
hoist your burdens, get on down the road.
Robert Seymour Bridges | |
the history of melancholia
includes all of us.
me, I writhe in dirty sheets
while staring at blue walls
I have gotten so used to melancholia
I greet it like an old
I will now do 15 minutes of grieving
for the lost redhead,
I tell the gods.
I do it and feel quite bad
then I rise
even though nothing
that's what I get for kicking
religion in the ass.
I should have kicked the redhead
in the ass
where her brains and her bread and
but, no, I've felt sad
the lost redhead was just another
smash in a lifelong
I listen to drums on the radio now
there is something wrong with me
D A Levy | |
When i was a little kid
my parents never told me
i didn't find out until
i got out of high school
then when people asked me,
I ASKED THEM,
"Nationality or Religion?"
When i was a little kid
my parents brought me up as a christian
that when i discovered,
i was different
i wasnt THAT sick!
so at sixteen
still being a virgin forest
i must be a buddhist monk,
Then when people asked me
I TOLD THEM, i told them
"Not me, man, i don't belong to No-thing
In the navy
a swabby once asked me,
if i wanted to go to the
temple with him,
i told him
"NOt me, man, im the last
of the full blooded american indians.
it became confusing
so after a while
when people inquired
you arnt……are you?"
"with a name like levy,
what the hell do you think i am?"
A Ritz Cracker? A flying bathtub?
An arab? etc.
But now its getting pretty hip
to be a jew
and some of my best friend are
becoming converted to halavah,
even the crones who suddenly
became World War 2 catholics are
now praising bagels & lox
i still dont feel on ethnic things like
"Ok, we all niggers so lets hold hands.
"OK, we're all wops so lets support the
"Ok, we're all jews so lets weep on each
so now when people smile and say,
"Hey, you're one of us,"
i smile and say,
"Fuck you, man,
im still alive.
Philip Larkin | |
If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.
Going to church
Would entail a fording
To dry, different clothes;
My liturgy would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,
And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.
Edmund Spenser | |
ANd thou great Iuno, which with awful might
the lawes of wedlock still dost patronize,
And the religion of the faith first plight
With sacred rites hast taught to solemnize:
and eeke for comfort often called art
Of women in their smart,
Eternally bind thou this louely band,
And all thy blessings vnto vs impart.
And thou glad Genius, in whose gentle hand,
The bridale bowre and geniall bed remaine,
Without blemish or staine.
And the sweet pleasures of theyr loues delight
With secret ayde doest succour and supply,
Till they bring forth the fruitfull progeny,
Send vs the timely fruit of this same night.
And thou fayre Hebe, and thou Hymen free,
Grant that it may so be.
Til which we cease your further prayse to sing,
Ne any woods shal answer, nor your Eccho ring.
Belinda Subraman | |
past the hippies
past Ravi Shankar
when the first Asian snake
stiffened with sound
through some empty shell
some hollow wood
was not so much charmed
as listening intently
to the accidental flute
to that which he knew
must be female
its empty insides
with breath music
and he joined in
finding a rang of sounds
he’d never heard
and a new religion
practiced in places
where snakes are holy
is written in his tongue
John Wilmot | |
[Rochester had to flee the court for several months
after handing this to the King by mistake.
In th' isle of Britain, long since famous grown
For breeding the best cunts in Christendom,
There reigns, and oh! long may he reign and thrive,
The easiest King and best bred man alive.
Him no ambition moves to get reknown
Like the French fool, that wanders up and down
Starving his people, hazarding his crown.
Peace is his aim, his gentleness is such,
And love he loves, for he loves fucking much.
Nor are his high desires above his strength:
His scepter and his prick are of a length;
And she may sway the one who plays with th' other,
And make him little wiser than his brother.
Poor Prince! thy prick, like thy buffoons at court,
Will govern thee because it makes thee sport.
'Tis sure the sauciest prick that e'er did swive,
The proudest, peremptoriest prick alive.
Though safety, law, religion, life lay on 't,
'Twould break through all to make its way to cunt.
Restless he rolls about from whore to whore,
A merry monarch, scandalous and poor.
To Carwell, the most dear of all his dears,
The best relief of his declining years,
Oft he bewails his fortune, and her fate:
To love so well, and be beloved so late.
Yet his dull, graceless bollocks hang an arse.
This you'd believe, had I but time to tell ye
The pains it costs to poor, laborious Nelly,
Whilst she employs hands, fingers, mouth, and thighs,
Ere she can raise the member she enjoys.
All monarchs I hate, and the thrones they sit on,
From the hector of France to the cully of Britain.
Robert William Service | |
Although the Preacher be a bore,
The Atheist is even more.
I ain't religious worth a damn;
My views are reckoned to be broad;
And yet I shut up like a clam
When folks get figgerin' on God;
I'd hate my kids to think like me,
And though they leave me in the lurch,
I'm always mighty glad to see
My fam'ly trot to Church.
Although of books I have a shelf
Of skeptic stuff, I must confess
I keep their knowledge to myself:
Doubt doesn't help to happiness.
I never scoff at Holy Writ,
But envy those who hold it true,
And though I've never been in it
I'm proud to own a pew.
I always was a doubting Tom;
I guess some lads are born that way.
I couldn't stick religion from
The time I broke the Sabbath Day.
Yet unbelief's a bitter brew,
And this in arid ways I've learned;
If you believe a thing, it's true
As far as your concerned.
I'm sentimental, I agree,
For how it always makes me glad
To turn from Ingersoll and see
My little girls Communion-clad.
And as to church my people plod
I cry to them with simple glee:
"Say, folks, if you should talk to God,
Put in a word for me.
Robert William Service | |
When young I was an Atheist,
Yea, pompous as a pigeon
No opportunity I missed
To satirize religion.
I sneered at Scripture, scoffed at Faith,
I blasphemed at believers:
Said I: "There's nothing after Death,--
Your priests are just deceivers.
In middle age I was not so
Contemptuous and caustic.
Thought I: "There's much I do not know:
I'd better be agnostic.
The hope of immortality
'Tis foolish to be flouting.
So in the end I came to be
A doubter of my doubting.
Now I am old, with steps inclined
To hesitate and falter;
I find I get such peace of mind
Just sitting by an altar.
So Friends, don't scorn the family pew,
The preachments of the kirks:
Religion may be false or true,
But by the Lord!--it works.
Robert William Service | |
You talk o' prayer an' such -
Well, I jest don't know how;
I guess I got as much
Religion as a cow.
I fight an' drink an' swear;
Red hell I often raise,
But never said a prayer
In all my days.
I'm honest, right enough;
Don't take no stock in crimes;
I'm jest a dockside tough,
An' yet .
an' yet sometimes,
If I should happen by
A church-door open wide
The chances are that I
Will sneak inside.
It's kin o' peaceful there,
Jest sittin' in a pew;
There's sompin' in the air
That rests me through an' through;
It does me heaps o' good
To see them candles glow,
So soothin' to the mood .
Why? - I don't know.
Unless that sittin' still
Can be a kind o' prayer;
My heart jest seems to fill
Wi' peace .
Oh, God don't care
For guys the likes o' me;
I just ain't in His line:
But when the Cross I see,
I make the sign.
Robert William Service | |
Six bulls I saw as black as jet,
With crimsoned horns and amber eyes
That chewed their cud without a fret,
And swished to brush away the flies,
Unwitting their soon sacrifice.
It is the Corpus Christi fête;
Processions crowd the bannered ways;
Before the alters women wait,
While men unite in hymns of praise,
And children look with angel gaze.
The bulls know naught of holiness,
To pious pomp their eyes are blind;
Their brutish brains will never guess
The sordid passions of mankind:
Poor innocents, they wait resigned.
Till in a black room each is penned,
While from above with cruel aim
Two torturers with lances bend
To goad their fieriness to flame,
To devil them to play the game.
The red with rage and mad with fear
They charge into the roaring ring;
Against the mockery most near
Of human might their hate they fling,
In futile, blind blood-boltering.
And so the day of unction ends;
Six bulls are dragged across the sand.
Ferocity and worship blends,
Religion and red thirst hold hands .
Dear Christ! 'Tis hard to understand!
Jonathan Swift | |
All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I'll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves,
Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves;
Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires;
Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars;
Damned villains, corrupted in every station;
Damned time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I'll readily give you
Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed,
For we know by these marks the place of the damned:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!
Jane Taylor | |
In tears to her mother poor Harriet came,
Let us listen to hear what she says:
"O see, dear mamma, it is pouring with rain,
We cannot go out in the chaise.
"All the week I have long'd for this holiday so,
And fancied the minutes were hours;
And now that I'm dress'd and all ready to go,
Do look at those terrible showers! "
"I'm sorry, my dear, " her kind mother replied,
The rain disappoints us to-day;
But sorrow still more that you fret for a ride,
In such an extravagant way.
"These slight disappointments are sent to prepare
For what may hereafter befall;
For seasons of real disappointment and care,
Which commonly happen to all.
"For just like to-day with its holiday lost,
Is life and its comforts at best:
Our pleasures are blighted, our purposes cross'd,
To teach us it is not our rest.
"And when those distresses and crosses appear,
With which you may shortly be tried,
You'll wonder that ever you wasted a tear
On merely the loss of a ride.
"But though the world's pleasures are fleeting and vain,
Religion is lasting and true;
Real pleasure and peace in her paths you may gain,
Nor will disappointment ensue.
Isaac Watts | |
Love and charity.
Let Pharisees of high esteem
Their faith and zeal declare,
All their religion is a dream,
If love be wanting there.
Love suffers long with patient eye,
Nor is provoked in haste;
She lets the present injury die,
And long forgets the past.
[Malice and rage, those fires of hell,
She quenches with her tongue;
Hopes and believes, and thinks no ill,
Though she endure the wrong.
[She nor desires nor seeks to know
The scandals of the time;
Nor looks with pride on those below,
Nor envies those that climb.
She lays her own advantage by
To seek her neighbor's good;
So God's own Son came down to die,
And bought our lives with blood.
Love is the grace that keeps her power
In all the realms above;
There faith and hope are known no more,
But saints for ever love.
Isaac Watts | |
Religion vain without love.
Had I the tongues of Greeks and Jews,
And nobler speech, that angels use,
If love be absent, I am found,
Like tinkling brass, an empty sound.
Were I inspired to preach and tell
All that is done in heav'n and hell;
Or could my faith the world remove,
Still I am nothing without love.
Should I distribute all my store
To feed the bowels of the poor,
Or give my body to the flame,
To gain a martyr's glorious name;
If love to God and love to men
Be absent, all my hopes are vain;
Nor tongues, nor gifts, nor fiery zeal,
The work of love can e'er fulfil.
Isaac Watts | |
What blest examples do I find
Writ in the Word of Truth
Of children that began to mind
Religion in their youth!
Jesus, who reigns above the sky,
And keeps the world in awe,
Was once a child as young as I,
And kept His Father's law.
At twelve years old he talked with men,
The Jews all wondering stand;
Yet He obeyed his Mother then,
And came at her command.
Children a sweet hosanna sung,
And blest their Savior's name;
They gave Him honor with their tongue,
While scribes and priests blaspheme.
Samuel the child was weaned and brought
To wait upon the Lord:
Young Timothy betimes was taught
To know his holy Word.
Then why should I so long delay
What others learnt so soon?
I would not pass another day
Without this work begun.
Isaac Watts | |
Holiness and grace.
O let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.
Thus shall we best proclaim abroad
The honors of our Savior God;
When the salvation reigns within,
And grace subdues the power of sin.
Our flesh and sense must be denied,
Passion and envy, lust and pride;
While justice, temp'rance, truth, and love,
Our inward piety approve.
Religion bears our spirits up,
While we expect that blessed hope,
The bright appearance of the Lord,
And faith stands leaning on his word.
Isaac Watts | |
Salvation by Christ.
Salvation is for ever nigh
The souls that fear and trust the Lord
And grace descending from on high
Fresh hopes of glory shall afford.
Mercy and truth on earth are met,
Since Christ the Lord came down from heav'n;
By his obedience so complete,
Justice is pleased, and peace is giv'n.
Now truth and honor shall abound,
Religion dwell on earth again,
And heav'nly influence bless the ground
In our Redeemer's gentle reign.
His righteousness is gone before
To give us free access to God;
Our wand'ring feet shall stray no more,
But mark his steps and keep the road.
Anne Kingsmill Finch | |
Good Heav'n, I thank thee, since it was design'd
I shou'd be fram'd, but of the weaker kinde,
That yet, my Soul, is rescu'd from the Love
Of all those Trifles, which their Passions move.
Pleasures, and Praise, and Plenty haue with me
But their just value.
If allow'd they be,
Freely, and thankfully as much I tast,
As will not reason, or Religion wast.
If they're deny'd, I on my selfe can Liue,
And slight those aids, unequal chance does give.
When in the Sun, my wings can be display'd,
And in retirement, I can bless the shade.
G K Chesterton | |
Isaiah Bunter has disappeared into the interior of the Solomon Islands, and it is feared that he may have been devoured by the natives, as there has been a considerable revival of religious customs among the Polynesians.
--A real paragraph from a real Paper; only the names altered.
It was Isaiah Bunter
Who sailed to the world's end,
And spread religion in a way
That he did not intend.
He gave, if not the gospel-feast,
At least a ritual meal;
And in a highly painful sense
He was devoured with zeal.
And who are we (as Henson says)
That we should close the door?
And should not Evangelicals
All jump at shedding Gore?
And many a man will melt in man,
Becoming one, not two,
When smacks across the startled earth
The Kiss of Kikuyu.
When Man is the Turk, and the Atheist,
Essene, Erastian, Whig,
And the Thug and the Druse and the Catholic
And the crew of the Captain's gig.
Edgar Lee Masters | |
After I got religion and steadied down
They gave me a job in the canning works,
And every morning I had to fill
The tank in the yard with gasoline,
That fed the blow-fires in the sheds
To heat the soldering irons.
And I mounted a rickety ladder to do it,
Carrying buckets full of the stuff.
One morning, as I stood there pouring,
The air grew still and seemed to heave,
And I shot up as the tank exploded,
And down I came with both legs broken,
And my eyes burned crisp as a couple of eggs.
For someone left a blow-fire going,
And something sucked the flame in the tank.
The Circuit Judge said whoever did it
Was a fellow-servant of mine, and so
Old Rhodes' son didn't have to pay me.
And I sat on the witness stand as blind
As Jack the Fiddler, saying over and over,
"l didn't know him at all.
Friedrich von Schiller | |
Which religion do I acknowledge? None that thou namest.
"None that I name? And why so?"--Why, for religion's own sake?