October 13, 2013

History as Irony

Into the land for which the Jews
A thousand years before
Had killed and burned to take,
Jesus was born.

In towns controlled by Rome –
Grafting their multicultural odd gods
Onto Rome-cleansed, Rome–straightened cities –
Jesus played.

Walking four miles from Nazareth
To Sepphoris with Joseph at age ten
To work and help his father build another
Roman Jewish palace,
Jesus toiled.

In the uprisings led by Judas of Galilee
When Joseph and two thousand Jews were killed,
Crucified by the Romans, Sepphoris burned,
Jesus escaped.

In hills and deserts outside Rome’s control,
Studying prophecies and hefting swords,
Jesus preached Israel purged of Rome.

Outside the shining city on the hill,
The Passover uprising crushed by Rome,
Flanked by two Zealots, heads of the revolt,
Jesus, King of Jews, was crucified.

Preventing further fundamentalists
Leading attacks against High Priest and Rome,
Saul hunted Jesus’ Messianic dregs.

Seeing an opportune new power base,
Mixing old Jewish myths in a fresh blend
With Mithras, Isis – a One God for all –
Saul/Paul created Christ as a new God.

Both fundamentalist and Paulist Jews
Denying the Emperor’s divinity –
Disrupting commerce, peace and government –
Nero burned Jewish Christians, and
Titus destroyed the Jewish Temple, and
Hadrian deported all the Jews
From Palestine, scattering Christians and Jews
Throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

Jews kept their heads down.  Christians evangelized,
Spread through the powerless – slaves, women, poor,
Criminals and the lowest army ranks.

Seeing an opportune new power base,
Constantine changed Rome’s faith.

Controlling now (in part) the Emperor,
Popes ruled the West from Rome, built palaces,
And persecuted Jews.

(Jesus gives no opinion, being dead.)

Published: Ambit 211, UK, January 2013


After the last wife has died,
After the last woman has left in tears of frustration,
I shall sit, bent over, body and face
Not wrinkled as waterlogged fingers, but rather,
Dessicated and shrivelled as a raisin, all juice gone,
Mind crumpled up and thrown away in the trash,
Brain deflated and erratic as a dried-out walnut
To be packed away, hidden away in the cold, unthinking, in stasis,
In the hope that a Springtime of Science will have me take life again and sprout
Up, up, into something a thousand times greater than I was before, or am now.

Published: Ambit 211, UK, January 2013

October 12, 2013

Saudi Arabia

There are no women here,
Just shapeless black cloth bags ignoring me
That drift like windblown plastic bags along the street.
So I must love the stray cats under cars,
Living in dust under parked cars on broken streets –
For they at least watch with big haunted eyes.
I find I dream of cats the size of women,
I stroke their fur,
They purr.

Published: Ambit 211, UK, January 2013