Projection rules in those who deal in faith;
Like knowledge, faith can be acquired,
Manuals and rudiments desired
Each day among the hustlers give weight
To notions second only to their fees.
And what of practices, factions, seams that line
Grand curtains with magic, emotion, atmospheres so fine
That only children are attracted–they and bees–
The rhetoric’s so sweet. In possibilities
Truth is honed. What were only trifles
Traffic as much consolation for the poor as riffles
To manipulators, mullas, priests, and rabbis
hell-bent on hyperbole.
Distraction is the only holy oil to those who will not heed
The warnings, common sense, and wreathes of mental weeds.
[5 May 1813 -11 November 1855]
“Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth— look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.”