“…But, then again,…”


“…But, then again,…” 

…But, then again, they know that prayers are cancers
And antidotes, and on the whole, they are
According to their own witness so far
As they can see. “But plaster
This across your billboards, Billy!”
If all the prayers of all the people
Are in equal answered, steeples
Pointing to the cosmos become but silly
Slot machines and hives from which
Creation’s blessings are fleeced while honey’s made to flow. Who, then,
Runs the trains and who is it hays the cattle; when
Are inroads construed; whose able hands apply the stitch
For hours in the night to forge another generation,…or launch the lance?
Labours lay no eggs at night, my friend and picnics raise no ants.


5 responses to ““…But, then again,…”

  1. I haven’t seen one of these billboards here, although Cedar Creek is quite active. Personally, advertising to sell soap is fine, but not so fine for churches, hospitals, or even attorneys. As for churches, I’ve checked the night sky and seen no billboards. If God doesn’t see the need: why do they? And as for battling Satan, I’ve always found Trungpa’s quote from Spiritual Materialism appropriate: “As long as a person is involved with warfare, trying to defend or attack, then his action is not sacred; it is mundane, dualistic, a battlefield situation.” Thanks for addressing this strange practice (church advertising) in your poem.

    • First of all, many thanks for introducing the name of Trungpa to me. I had never heard of him, and since receiving your message, I have done some reading on that remarkable person. Secondly, Trungpa’s quotation needs no endorsement from me, of course, but as a matter of fact, I consider his statement a truth precisely because it is true albeit while many might agree with the ideal it represents, few if any I know employ it in reality, a modern situation peculiar to the present times. Thirdly, God and Christ, Himself would agree with Trangpa and you as do I regarding religious advertisements and again, while many might agree, ideally, few it any I know employ it in reality, a modern situation peculiar to the present times. Fourthly, no thanks to me were necessary after I enjoyed the writing in what I wrote in at least partial reaction to that sign I came across quite by accident. The sign may well have have uplifted many more for sheer irony than anything having to do with either the church or Satan. Satan (if there were such a being) I’m sure would have had a genuine laugh or two over the sign as well as for the free advertising he receives, especially since the sign mentions neither God nor Christ or any of the Prophets, and in the present ubiquitous weather we’re having, that church might well think that Hell has frozen over. Stay warm, my friend!

  2. Witless materialistic aggrandizement parading as spirituality—and, you capture and paint it oh so well 🙂

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