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Oh, ye of so much faith, absent of doubt
expounding with your foxy hosts on how
this world is sure to end, your ilk as spout
of wisdom to inform us, holy cow!
I should have changed the channel, but your beard
like gorse and bramble made me feel a-feared,
while from your steely eyes I saw no love,
just hardness locked inside a studded glove.
To those who kill, you promise death. Shoot! So
much better things I could take notice of.
I turn my other cheeks above, below.

We all have declarations we could shout
of independence, constitutions, vows
to break or to uphold. My native grout
holds just as firm as yours, and I allow
that you, within your borders, may feel seared,
remanifesting destiny dog-eared
and out of date. Your sovereignty of shove
when pushed, to hell with lamb and peaceful dove,
makes sense to intelligence wrought hollow
by rote and memorizing ghastly stuff.
I turn my other cheeks above, below.

I listened for ten minutes to your bout:
Galatians and Ephesians with your brow
all furrowed, disapproving, God’s own scout,
avenging angel, ratings to endow
continued wealth. It’s fine that you appear
on what they call reality, my dear.
TV is marketing, a slimy grub
at times whose mainstream I can barely glug.
But with the cameras off, what is your show?
Does subtlety exist within your trove?
I turn my other cheeks above, below.

I wonder, can you speak or think without
expressing vile nationhood? Do you know
how much you sound like them, the mad devout?
Your tribal god’s the one and same, low brow
and gauche, he’s of the baddest, meanest tier.
You think there is a heaven where he’ll cheer
for all you didn’t love and feel? No, guv,
your faith I do not share. I cannot prove
my stance and nor can you, so let’s just go
our separate ways. Good luck with your next move.
I turn my other cheeks above, below.

Yes, for this royal chant I made a lout
of you, as you do for the hooded brow-
beating fanatics who don’t care about
the peaceable and fair. Yet death will show
us all one day how thickly we were smeared
with rank stupidity, how we adhered
to flimsy self-defense, a shallow groove.
You can’t force me, I won’t fix you. The love
that brought us here will take us home. We’ll know
more than we ever did, nothing to prove.
I turn my other cheeks above, below.

Now, bearded one, go peaceful with that sub
machine gun attitude. I too shall rove
from day to day imagining a show
of might through words and rhyme I might improve…
I turn my other cheeks above, below.


© Elaine Stirling, 2014