CHASE them away

A bank !
And where is the vault going, might I ask –
in the dining room ?
This is worse than I thought
I was hoping for a small
neighbourhood clinic
even a vet –
but a bank ?

Is that all that is left on this planet …
and people sleeping rough ?

Oh, I know I’m old fashioned
and my plumbing isn’t great
{yours won’t be either when you are 182]
and I have too many rooms
for a nuclear family
{what a dreadful term –
makes me think of warheads]

Even before my sweet Emma died …
but that is the way of it, I guess
anyway, since gran Emma passed on
the place has been
way too big
and now even some of those
minuscule nuclears on the block
are shrinking  to single-parent status…
but a bank ?

Oh I remember Emma
trying out paints in the kitchen and bath
new modern paints with some dry-fast
something in ’em that tickled my moldings

And I was so glad when her daughter-in-law
sanded the long wall in the sitting room
and papered over the tiny cracks
that just wouldn’t go away  –
better than having a face lift –
made me feel young again !

And the nursery…
oh dear, oh dear me
three generations of nursery…
the most wonderful sound in the world
children’s laughter –
I think I’m gonna cry –
can’t do that in front of
some bank manager,
now can I….

Which ?
Chase ?
Oh..somebody Chase them away

I think I’d rather the sky
just fell in on the roof



Autobiographical footnote

I was ten when
for my first two-digit birthday
my parents took me
to a real restaurant
not far from where my father worked
in Yonkers.

It was there, impressed
by starched pressed linen,
gleaming silver cutlery
clinking crystal [and sweet butter]
that I discovered the scam
that is catholicism.

It was there, after dinner
that I witnessed
[right in front of me
two tables over]
a trio of pot-bellied jesuits
swilling cognac and smoking
fat cigars…

and I realized – in spades –
how the poor
have been robbed
for centuries
so that a company
of the priviledged
might indulge themselves
in dinners no poor man
could even dream
of affording.



I danced in the morning when the world was begun I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun

there is another way of seeing
all those forerunners of Jesus
though it be quasi-proven
no Yeshoua-ben-joseph
ever existed – anymore
than the risen Zalmoxis
who promised those
at his banquets that
they would never die
but would be with him
after death – and know a life
even better than this one…

it’s a story as old
as …well, maybe not
the moon and the sun
but at least as old
as language itself…
why waste even one precious
second of life in quibbles
over who has the right prince of peace
if in the process you lose sight
of any chance at peace ?
and, as tommy makem sang it
[although he would likely call
me heathen and deny it]
it is so easy to see
that The Lord of the Dance
is in every culture

Solomon’s kingdom
was hardly more than a district
David the king never even existed
messiahs were a dime a dozen
in the plus or minus first centuries
and thousands upon thousands
deemed seditious or just enemies
of the empire were crucified year
after year – lined up like telephone
poles along the Appian Way –
but the ever-returning
Light of easter – pagan down to
its eggs and bunnies –
that is universal.

forerunners…? sequels…?
woefully out-of-date, irrelevant scripture
calling for stoning of adulterers
eternal damnation for homosexuals…
sweep it all away

and make way
for the Lord of the Dance
who [Tommy Makem
has no church, no clergy
no collection plate…

and threatens no child
with hellfire


It was in l’Air du Temps in Old Montreal that a certain pretty saavy jew summed it up: all stories are true but some never happened. Then again maybe he stole the line from Elie Wiesel



Get it straight!

The Jesus of the gospels was no capitalist
Julius Caesar was no tyrant
America is no democracy

The Roman Senate –
a gallery of posturing thugs in togas
[rogues almost to a man]
were slum landlords
and slave-owners,
gluttonous degenerates
whose chief concerns
were their own private interests.

Caesar was in favour of
moderate land reform
and some small extension of
voting rights…and that is why
he was slain and vilified.

This is history, my pretties.

And if Jesus was not a story of
preferential treatment for the poor
then the gospels are a quartet of lies.


                § §


The Assassination Of Julius Caesar: A People’s History Of Ancient Rome (New Press People’s History) by Michael Parenti

(NB. A people’s history…as in A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.)



[is there no way]

is there no way
we can gather
in sunlit chambers
[or in the open]
love our neighbour
comfort each other
in our bereavements
celebrate our joys
and our acheivements…
without all the hokum
and the bullshit
of some other
make-believe life ?

I love uplifting music
soft candles and
the fellow feeling
found in many temples
I just have no use
for the absentee



War and what passes for peace

Those who would rise, find skulls and spines
to climb on. The sins of famous men never more
than suspect whispers beneath chimes of victory.
Mainstream History – the one taught with pomp
in hallowed universities – will hide the crimes
of its heroes including the bloated generals
who lead from behind, shun the front line.

History amplifies – when it doesn’t invent –
a multitude of sins to defame the vanquished,
erects a Hall of Shame for their leaders,
villifies, caricatures – or simply erases –
down to their very their name.

Truth will win out in the end?
Forgive me if I doubt that, my friend.




lament for a god-besotted america

a well-locked gate
should separate
words like science and religion

if you wish to form a pair
of terms with much to share
try ignorance / superstition

cults grow like lichen on woods
while a single mighty oak is science
and with the baseless frauds
ever must decline alliance.


AC Grayling points out that the sciences of history and psychology  can offer understanding of the mechanisms and developement of religions  – but there isn’t much religion can offer in exchange. The coupling of the terms “science  and religion” simply boosts the credibility of the latter.

the description “god-besotted” is Grayling’s…and I couldn’t resist it



From the shoebox

They would, of course, be friends forever.
John would eventually marry Clara’s sister, Barbara, but they hadn’t been introduced as yet, that day he came to sit on her bench because, well, there was no place else to sit! Alice was there too, for the same reason. She lived a block away, and her house was only partly damaged, but she and Clara attended the same school – or, should I say, had attended. The school too was now kaput! Thank you Luftwaffe for the holiday, but I did love my grandparents and even if they weren’t in the best of health they both had a few more good years in them.
It was some Yankee bloke who took the photo. At least he said he was an American. Today I’d say he sounded more like one of the enemy types. Haha. Sort of Hungarian or something. Lovely chap though, with funny eyebrows. As I recall he had asked the three of them to sit on the surviving bench again so that he could take the photograph. Told them he would stop back the next day if it turned out. It did and he did, you might say. Odd – seeing the way children behave today – to think there was a time a boy and two girls just sitting on a bench would seem… I dunno, strange, but the world is so different nowadays, isn’t it. I saved one of the bricks. Use it as a paperweight on my desk. Just an ordinary brick…but it does remind me of those most extraordinary times. Or were they really? John and Barbara’s son Will was killed in Afghanistan. Friendly fire, they called it. What an outrageous idea.



my beef

my beef has never been with god [or Zeus or Zalmoxis]
but with those who hawk untranslatable visions —
visions that give rise to armies sent to wipe out nations
all in defense of utterly private hallucinations

feelings – anxieties and emotions – so easily exploited
among the ignorant and the downtrodden

a sideshow is religion – a sanctimonious diversion
and any Spartacus who rises up to reclaim from the rulers
what is rightfully ours – any Bruno who says to the pope
god is more wonderful than you think or imagine
and you have no jurisdiction

anyone who sees through the con is attacked in his being
not for the truths he utters – not rebutted – merely slandered –
[not so long ago slaughtered]
and the ignorant follow, for the ignorance and fear of the sheep
has always been heavily pandered to – invested in and lauded
where instead of critical thinking children are made to dread the trial and judgement that will come when they are dead…
are told they are sinners from their birth!

If some not half-crazed creator did, in fact, exist after all
he might very well call such behavior anathema and blasphemy.



some would claim only the refined outpouring is poetry
while others see the naked and oracular as utterly legitimate.
with exceptions here and there, I see my posts as works in progress

holy texts will be forwarded to the dead letter office

my bretheren, my children
if you would encounter that which you call god
come out into the open – literally, metaphorically –
free yourselves from the clutches of the churches
flee the temples and mosques and understand at last
that the works and words of clergymen of any kind
were specifically designed to stand between you
and anything divine – abandon your unholy texts –
the underpining of those antiquated sects –
anathema in the sight of any, say, hypothetical
Heap Big Manitou pre-wampum creator of ALL
who would despise these trumped-up divisions
among you – hostilities rooted in the man-made
inevitably producing such destructive isolations
as might break an almighty thumpin’ heart

I have no creed or writ to sell you – true
knowledge is found in the marrow
this earth is a sphere –
it was never meant
to evolve into
a pyramid

it is pitiful and comic to hear
each petty pontif proclaim,
yes if you would come to me –
why then of course all men
would be free
– are you so blind
as to not see the ego that is here rooted
as a tree in all such self-important ministry

the sexes were not made
for one to exclusively
serve the other
the races did not evolve
that one might invariably
serve the other
no land should own
another people’s wealth *

it is no joke that when a jewish mystic, a sufi mystic
and a christian mystic sit down at a table…
they usually have a nice quiet lunch
for mysticism is none other
than the root spirituality
born when first monkey
stood [nearly straight]
and questioned
the stars…
asked what
is good?

Morality is innate
to those who receive
loving care from their progenitors

and there is no outwitting death –
that is the patented lie of the hierarchies
of misnamed faiths. None has ever yet
outwitted death – do not translate here
a summons or cause for dispair –
believe in this, for I do swear
he who diligently unmasks
and crucifies the ego
may learn with time and patience
to face finality with serenity

it is wired into man to wonder –
in never-ending litany  why, why, why
but the universe is under
no obligation to reply

physics has come a long way
to explaining how we got here
and other sciences will – by and by –
expose the roots of our seemingly
unending need to ask why.


*indeed, I believe no man should own
another man’s home
nor decree how he earn
his livlihood … but I’m clearly out of my mind