J.B. Mulligan

the only good Muslim is a Good Muslim

The past is an edgy terror to the small
of soul, whose faith informs them they are all,
that history outside of them is lies,
and truth bids them tear off its crude disguise.
How odd it is, that it should be their past
(but not just since it's theirs, we'll have to trust)
that matters to us all, their stone worth saving,
and all without compulsion of believing –
Their husks of skin bereft of any god,
their souls unwilling to admit that void,
yet still expect their honeyed martyrdom:
a deity which claims that through the gloom
of sin and man, its light will rise and spread,
will find some proper hell for those hollowed dead.

public use of reason

Per Kant, the engine of the Enlightenment
was “freedom to make public use of one's reason
on every point.” As truth was not a season,
but sunlight at the mouth of the cave, that meant
we had to be able to say the say, to seize on
any source of fire, and give it to men
to warm or consume, to light the way and then
to bathe in light, illuminate the raison
d'etre of every beast that calls to the sky
for justice, while it shaves the verbal dice
and strips the gears of logic for need. The wheel
that spins in the ditch is moving for you and me,
they claim, protected by passion from the real.
“We only believe those people who lie for us.”

most of the war over war

Eternal truths would laugh (if they had mouths)
to hear their twisted versions rage about
in rut, or flutter, sulky pallid moths
drawn to an absent light. There's not a doubt
(or thought) in those blunt minds, but furious noise
like plastic swords aclatter, sturm und drang
and signifying a clueless, bland release
in frenzied clash of lack-of-right and wrong.
Meanwhile, the mindless maggots have their meal
on a roadside corpse, victim of a front
where truth eviscerates itself with steel
in endless irresolution, stripped of cant.
A lover glances down the silent road.
A seed of fear cracks open in her head.

J.B.Mulligan © 2017