Deserted and abandoned youth

Choose certain death and ostracism
Exile self-imposed; ‘tradition’
Loss of home and family
Born of faith’s supremacy

So young, with minds not fully fed
In fear of first missteps, unled
Some seek to live by others’ rules
And hope to never have to choose

While those whose choice was thrust upon
Unwary shoulders, far too young
Have just enough experience
To recognise their own good sense

And knowing that some errors will
Occur despite intentions, still
Are less afraid to persevere
And build the life they want right here.

Though actions have their aftermath
There is no righteous, clear-cut path
Please do not fear all consequence
Change is not dangerous; though dense

And unenlightened elders may
Feel life no longer goes their way
As age and distance emphasise
The loss of youth before sad eyes

Unready to relinquish reins
To those in throes of growing pains.
Decisions to abandon trust
Give up hope and freedoms; lust

For life of lesser contemplation
Out of social obligation;
Turn to ends more violent
Ignore suggestions, kindly meant

And quick condemn all other views –
Is this the path you wish to choose?
Consider this, before you do
For truly, this choice rests with you:

Such suicide invites abuse
Of others that may follow blood
For love, for family, for feud
Will throw themselves away; – jihad

In mourning for those gone before
Their minds made waste, still immature
And more than one will idolise
The first to die – if death you prize

Above the life you hold in hand
So understand, if you have planned
To be the martyr for your tribe
And leave the others still alive

The minute you take up this course
Imagining rewards; Firdaws
You lose control of what is shown
And once you’ve gone, the whole thing’s blown:

With ashes scattered over sand
Your image will be used to brand
Misinformation into truth –
Deserted and abandoned youth.

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The boy who didn’t believe

His eyes told him tales of the truth on the page
As he gazed on in wonder at what lay before him

His ears let him hear all that came from the sage
While faithful companions took care to inform him

His hands brushed the wisdom both carved out and clear
And his touch held reminders of tangible reason

While tongue on his teeth flicked out, tasting the air
For a hint of the wind lends direction and season

But all was in vain, all fine senses quite useless
He wrinkled his nose and refused to be swayed

Afeared that his fellows might mean him abuses
He shut his mind tight and ignored all good faith

In place of his conscience mistook for conviction
The volume of ignorance over all proof

Provoking confusion and much needless friction
For stubborn and wilful his painful excuse

Respect slowly dwindled to fall by the wayside
While fatuous rhetoric ruled in its place

Contempt for authority lacking in substance
All those his compatriots filled with dismay

No lessons were learned by the boy in the bubble
Preferring his policy of Simon says

He polished the rod that he’d careful constructed
Preparing to swing to the end of his days

The Show is Over

A choral sound still echoes
Soft through dusty, darkened nave
Cathedral of my mind now empty
Hollow of those souls I’ve saved

Hallowed was the path they’d tread
Without infernal litanies
Pity, moved by mouths we fed
Self-referential liturgies

And as the candles dribble flat
Upon the chilly stones beneath
I recollect what thoughts grew fat
As mourners laid their threaded wreath

Old bodies plump with hoarded pride
To know their lives were meaningful
Expressions rapt, ears open wide
Intent on straining moral gruel

Our simple kindness passing fair
Gives voice to what they call divine
With dissonance to clear the air
When all they taste is bread and wine

And as we pass from Earthly grace
To twist and shout in crypts below
I lay my blessings on this place
At this, the ending of the show

The Monochromatic Spectrum

Harbouring extremist views
May be a risky business
One is at a disadvantage
When campaigning for a change

If the world may side with Marxists
That religious propaganda
Is no necessary antidote
For all forms of decay

As a surgeon seeks advice
Before confirming diagnosis;
Finds the nature of disease
Before the scalpel hits the tray

If we view such shift as needful
One must first perhaps acknowledge
What the consequence of treatment
May effect before we pray

An Homage to Harvey

My conscience did prick as I sat here awhile
About some certain things that have made this girl smile.
I’m not too P.C., I can laugh with the best
But a slight has a cost, even when a mere jest.
So be wary, my love, as you open to speak
Of the deeds of an Imam and Rabbi last week
For ’tis better to laugh with the head and the heart
Than to poke fun at others – your comments do smart!
A quick wit is all very well, but take heed:
A slow tongue’s more pleasant, in word as in deed.

Crusading poetry

I make my peace with what you cry
‘Swear now ’tis true or else you die!’
I thought such sooths as men might say
Died out long ere my yesterday…
But yet I hear on radio
And internet, and tv-show
A million screams ‘forswear your lore’
Or all with turn as was before,
Crusades will come, and burning too,
And witch hunts over ‘what is true!’
And battle cry of not-yet-men
‘Our God’s the stronger, bow to them!’