‘TIS OF THEE
A culture, decadent, that worships flesh
And death will eat itself like cancer cells
In nursing homes, and dollars won’t refresh
The worshippers alone in private hells.
The public debt a threat, the internet
Divas and doctors who dispense advice;
Another sting on teenage cigarettes,
Another show with cops who chase down vice.
Higher skyscrapers, pop songs, dances, stars,
New snobs, the stars who show how low they ride,
And in the cities, suburbs, hills and farms
Bedazzled grooms drive home with plastic brides.
And animated baseball, bodies zipped
In nylon parkas on Mount Everest’s slopes
Where copters will not fly; elections tipped
By social media and voters’ hopes,
A birthmother search, HIV home tests,
The nouveau riche improve their aging shapes
With dyed hair, facelifts, and inflated breasts,
Toupees and tummy tucks, the great escapes.
The middle class can barely keep the pace,
The welfare kid keeps falling far behind
Despite the billions squandered to replace
The guilt, for giveaways don’t stir his mind.
In God we used to trust, and now it’s Self–
The water’s bad in India, the wars
Leave body parts and orphans on the shelf–
“Who cares? My cards are maxed from clothing stores.”
The fix is on, you bet on any horse
And keep your mouth shut, win or lose, you pay
Your money, take your chance; no-fault divorce
Will rescue you from shame and disarray.
The dilettantes sell Art for vanity
And dollars while the poet-prophets speak
The Word in season, out of season, free
Or as slaves, obedient and meek.
Avenatti and NXVIM, branding marks,
Satellites, laser beams and astronauts,
New Ponzi schemes, illegal telemarkets,
Honeypots, afterthoughts and counterplots;
Flat tire, a gun for hire, they sell desire
In bars and motel rooms where no one tells
‘Cause no one asks; an L.A. arson fire
Gets paid, though the investigator smells
The sin of fallen man in Eden’s green,
As though a time machine had showed him bliss
Only to shake away the scales unseen,
Exposing evil as in Genesis.
The hoaxers, perjurers, and murderers,
Unpunished, roam the land wild as mountain goats,
They’re wealthy, influential, and secure,
And they know how to sway important votes.
Teenage flirts, cubist shirts and campaign dirt,
A suicide who’d called out pedophiles–
No drugs, no words relieve a young man’s hurt:
How can a sinful man be reconciled?
Peace treaties, diabetes, kiss your sweetie,
Nuke waste, a mugger Maced, two-faced rat-race,
So many potholes you can’t see the street;
So many taxes, cheating’s commonplace.
Perverts expose themselves to talk-show hosts
And hit-men have their quarter-hour of fame;
Mass media ignores the Holy Ghost
And acts as though the people are to blame.
All are one: Black and yellow, red and white,
Said JFK and Martin Luther King,
But on the subway ‘round ten at night,
The stench of fear and hate is sickening.
The dress-down candidate and his smart wife,
The steel magnolia, herbal remedies,
Montana Freemen and the F.B.I.
In wait; a watch which needs no batteries,
With child abusers, cocaine users, gun-
Toting cruisers, boozers, losers, and gang-
Bang drive-by shooters, the karate nuns,
With tennis shoes as codes, with convict slang.
The leveraged buy-outs, mergers, acquisitions,
Foreclosures, bankruptcies, bonds, notes, and deeds,
Rich democrats in powerful positions,
Like barrel cacti pointed in the weeds.
You rich and powerful, you’re food for worms,
A hunchbacked woman groans outside your door,
The smell of unwashed flesh: the butler squirms,
But you’re too busy phoning Singapore
To see the soil is drenched with babies’ blood.
The jet-set crowd has parties ‘til the dawns,
Posterity is thrown like rags in mud,
Prosperity makes men automatons.
Indecisions, forgetfulness and haze
Coagulate in corners of the stair;
Subversives sleeping, triggered, rise and daze
With a false-flag distraction, a gun nightmare.
Churchill, Prime Minister, declared, “The price
Of greatness is responsibility”
(Or so a poster said) and heed advice,
For “history guides us by vanities.”
Political correctness versus Christ:
Over the long run you can bet on Him
To overcome man’s wicked “Paradise,”
Naive as games upon the jungle gym.
My poetry is art; it’s serious
To me, and though you may not understand
The ins and outs, at least you’re curious
To read the words that print out by my hand.
The unacknowledged legislators of
The world are poets, Shelley in defense
Remarked: With skill and loads of Christian love,
With verses soaked in meaning, this makes sense.
The times were tainted by their ignorance,
And he was treated like an orphan boy,
But by the grace of God, with common sense,
He did God’s holy work and felt His joy.
Invisibility has benefits,
Take it from me, invisible for years,
With bandages wrapped ‘round my face, and slits
Through which I view the changing of the gears.
A preacher taught on Reno radio
The ways the Bible can interpret news;
A poet taught from texts of long ago
The Lord’s design for man began with Jews.
As 60 million babies’ blood, in fright,
Cries out from reddened earth to deafened ears,
Don’t say that you can see by dawn’s pink light
The Emperor has worn no stitch for years.
Don’t say a thing, for when a house implodes
It traps and crushes those beneath its beams;
Yet in the rooms, desensitized and slowed,
A nation’s conscience whispers still of dreams.
In Gibbon’s Rise and Fall the punishment
For immorality was Huns’ offense;
A Christian in the White House would prevent
The land’s decline to Roman decadence:
But as the Communists were fond to say,
“We’ll watch as you disintegrate within.”
Now at a graduation kids can’t pray
And teachers preach on Self-Esteem, not sin.
A king put Jeremiah in a well
For saying that his kingdom had to fall;
A prophet’s truth can seem like bagatelles
Until barbarians barge through the wall.
And I will turn to Paradise on earth
In serving Jesus Christ with all my heart;
Let him determine what my work is worth,
And let the world go mad for hollow art.
Iced tea, a stick of gum, a book of verse
And thou, is Paradise enough when Thou
Art Jesus Christ, who shattered Eden’s curse
Through death, a crown of thorns upon thy brow.