"And many a one now doth surpass/
My wave-worn beauty with his wind of flowers,/Yet am I a poet".
Ezra Pound, from "And Thus in Ninevah".
Thursday, 9 March 2017
They Know Not What They Do.
(First published at Praxis Online)
Joseph’s brothers threw him down a well
then sold him as a slave,
yet when he held them in his power
he hugged, blessed and forgave.
“I am Joseph, your brother!”
was his heart-felt cry.
What is the torch to lead you through the dark? What is the high and sunlit place? The clear and cloudless sky?
Stalin sat up late at night
marking victim’s names off a list.
Did twenty million people fall
beneath his prideful fist?
“Lest one of them threatens me,
they all must surely die.”
The merry-go-round slowly grinds with its choice of horses to ride, cankerous beasts of revenge, resentment, folly, heartache and murderous pride.
The Pilgrim Fathers fled to a new world
in search of religious liberty.
There they tried and hanged their brethren
for the “crime” of blasphemy.
“Such abomination,” they declared,
“can never be spared.”
The grinding beasts they mounted and then so loved to ride surely were ignorance, hypocrisy, bigotry and murderous pride.
The Nazarene healed, taught and blessed,
freely giving, never counting the cost.
He was betrayed, ridiculed and flogged
and then cruelly nailed to a cross.
“Father, forgive them,” he said,
before he bowed his head and died.