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