I’ve never really had a problem with the thought of God,
He’s useful for explaining things that otherwise seem odd.
Like why some bastards get nice girls, why soldiers lose their legs,
And why socks disappear only to come back as clothes pegs.
But according to the Bible, there is more to Him than that,
There’s a lot about commandments, and who Abraham begat,
There are bits to read aloud at funerals, christenings and weddings,
And some juicy stuff with sacrifices, stonings and beheadings.
The idea, in its foetal form, was quite a simple one,
But then some church-folk came along and ruined all the fun.
They built a statue made of stone; a pillar called Religion,
Which makes me, metaphorically, a little crapping pigeon.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to be nit-picky or hateful,
In fact it’s quite the contrary: I’m genuinely grateful.
I’m grateful for those wondrous things the faithful do so well,
When motivated by an all-consuming fear of Hell.
I thank you for the buildings; with their transepts, domes and chapels,
With their buttresses and gilded doors with pictures – those are apples!
Those Romanesque high vaults and Gothic polychrome veneers,
With choir stalls and frescoed walls, they’re fabulous, so cheers.
I thank you for the paintings, triptychs, tapestries and friezes,
For Madonnas with their slightly scary man-faced baby Jesus,
For Poynter’s Queen of Sheba and for Rembrandt’s Belshazzar,
For John the Baptist’s head in chiaroscuro: Awesome. Ta.
I thank you for the music, for Beethoven’s Mass in C,
For Requiems by Rutter and Mozart, respectively,
For Handel’s Hallelujah and for bells in a carillon,
For sanctus and for dona nobis pacem. Thanks a million.
My spiritual commitment’s solely at my own discretion,
I’ll wander through a lovely church but won’t go to confession,
I’ll not sip sacramental wine, nor taste a wafer’s crispness,
But every year (and thanks again) I’ll stuff myself at Christmas.
21 September 2010
A poem of thanksgiving
Because blind faith ain't half productive.