Death’s Lover – by recursive prophet

I’ve had a love affair with death
From the day that I was born
When I stood at the portals of life’s mortal bond
And there paused, my desires torn

For I knew the time had come to end
My blessed unity
That now I’d have to stand alone,
And to feel, and hear, and see.

Alone in the light; beneath a stranger’s glare
And through those eyes I would somehow know
That I now had my space, and had entered the race
Yet be haunted wherever I might go

For I knew that for certain, my lover would return
Once again in her arms I would be
Then together back we’d walk, with no need to feel or talk
Through the halls of eternity.

Without It All – by Andrew Cross

You tell me I need to choose the right way
Just let him into my heart
Even though you say he gives free will

Somehow you find all of this fulfilling
I’m scared of your wanting
To be watched and abused forever

I sometimes wonder who you really are
Without it all

You tell me there’s no morality without him
But it’s only cause you’re hollow
And empathy can’t deter you

Somehow you find all of this meaning
From eternal worship
What do you even think of this fucking life?

I sometimes wonder who you really are
Without it all

Think about it
The creator of the universe
Deviser of the laws of physics
Begetter of an expanding universe
Comprising billions of light years of space
Billions of years of time
Special and general relativity
Quantum indeterminacy
The shattering complexity of a living cell
This everlasting scientific and mathematical genius
Couldn’t think of a better way to forgive our sins
Than to visit our tiny speck of cosmic dust
And have himself tortured and executed as a scapegoat
So that he could forgive himself
How pathetic is that?

Fucking pathetic

Children are suffering
Societies are oppressed
Some god
Species go extinct
Stars eventually die
Some creation
Worship or be tortured for eternity
Some free will

You tell me I need to choose the right way
Just let him into my heart
Even though you say he gives free will

Somehow you find all of this fulfilling
I’m scared of your wanting
To be watched and abused forever

I sometimes wonder who you really are
Without it all

A Study in the Two Sides of Humility – by gimbol

St. Thomas

These days, the raw material of a saint
Is a bit less than it could be.

There is one that wants to argue,
But he’ll learn in the end.
In his own way, which is less than it should be.
If I got run over by a chariot tomorrow,
He wouldn’t believe it didn’t kill me
Unless he could put his fingers
In the ruts between my ribs and feel my heart.
One day, I tell him. Be patient, and maybe
You’ll learn in time to keep your sticky fingers out of it.

When that day comes, though,
He’ll want the proof of it. Always the proof.
I tell him: Go outside, Thomas!
Scream at the heavens,
Insult the Lord my Father
And bring down his rage upon your head.
That will be your fucking proof.

And Thomas?
God loves you. Just so you don’t forget.

A martyr before her burning

Those who suspect they’re weak try to hide it,
Even from themselves.
Put on a strong face, defy the world.
But those who know they’re weak, those that truly know,
Roll it around themselves, the shadow cloak,
Show their throats
Cut their own flesh to have blood enough to drip

In the end they were glad to burn me,
Glad to sear the voice from my throat –
Sick of hearing me whine:
A great fiery dose of Get a grip already,
You hysterical bitch!

But I could still whine to myself
Panegyrics to my own ability to be tortured…
I am grateful to be allowed to suffer.
But one can only be mild in comparison.

I had successfully provoked them, see.
They were kind at first, especially the young ones,
Too great pains to give me a way out.
But I was weak, determined to be mild, and so
I forced them to be devils.

“Your Soul is Weak!” – by smeggo

“Your soul is weak! You live in sin!”
I heard the soapbox preacher say.
“Without the Lord you cannot win!
Call upon your God today!”

Was it, perhaps, some kind of omen?
On life in heaven I set my hopes —
So Catholic Apostolic Roman
Was I (along with all the Popes.)

But I did not feel my spirit grow;
My emotional state was quite unmoved.
If my soul was weak, then I did know
my situation was not improved.

So to increase my spirit’s fitness,
and enhance my godly muscles,
I became Jehovah’s witness
and acolyte of C. T. Russell’s.

But soon I left the Hall forthwith
for now new beliefs were formin’;
I chose to follow Joseph Smith
when I became a saintly Mormon.

But I did not feel exactly right.
So you might ask me “whither wentest?”
I signed right up with Ellen White
as a Seventh-Day Adventist.

I found my soul grow pained and hostile.
Where were the people of the Lamb?
I thought I knew as Pentecostal
as I learned from C. F. Parham.

Yet despite my soul’s athletics
was I really safe from Hell?
Perhaps Scientolodianetics?
I went the route of Ron Hubbard, L.

To me, they seemed but after moolah,
and not of knowledge from on high.
Not like my new main man Baha’u’llah,
when I joined the church Baha’i.

Still not sure I’d found the Way
after this investigatin’,
I learned now from monseiur LaVey
when I joined the Church of Satan.

But then a rainy day, and windy
as I bit into my pita —
I thought, I’ll go and join the Hindi
and read the Bhagavad Gita.

Soon my lofty spirits fell
as each time they seemed to do;
If I became B’nei Israel,
would I find peace now as a Jew?

One day in study, I gazed at lamed
and doubts arose in consternation.
Thus next my prophet was Mohammed
as I joined an Islam Nation.

My life was not yet rid of drama
for faith had not yet changed my mood-a.
But maybe with Siddhartha Gautama
I’d learn some Truth now from the Buddha.

But no nirvana. A tarot reading?
Were there answers in astrology?
Were New Age crystals what I’m needing?
Or Kabbalistic num’rology?

That soon grew stale. Now what was next?
Zoroaster? Wicca? Pagan?
But I came across a better text —
my priest became: yes, Carl Sagan.

No need for spirits, angels, Gods;
no heavenly host or demon alliance.
Spare me the golden rules and rods —
for all Truth is found in Science.

What you see is what you get.
My peace of mind? Ne’er better rested!
Do NOT believe — now don’t forget! —
in what can’t be measured, shown, or tested.

So I don’t mind the anxious looks
the zealots/preachers/nuts are giving.
I don’t need “holy” men or books
for my life to be worth living.

Poetry – by thirteen

thirteen has agreed to share with us some of her poetry – in two languages, no less! Originally written in Spanish, they’ve been translated for your reading pleasure (although both versions have been provided for the Spanish speakers out there). Thanks, thirteen!

“My Life”/”Mi Vida”

“My Life”

Life… oh, life! This life of mine…
I’m a tongue twister, few recite me
I’m a jigzaw puzzle, few put me together
I’m a crossword puzzle, few complete me
I feel like a hard drive in need of defragmentation.

Snow woman; white and cold…
Cold and indifferent.

I’m like a frozen sea that cannot be crossed.
Soulless woman…
Soul that maybe congealed…
Or froze; with such cold sentiment.

Why, I ask myself, do I feel so empty?
What am I missing, tell me, to satisfy me?
I don’t like to feel this way…
Or not feel at all.

I’m like ash whose heat is so well hidden
that no hurricane would stir…
In case there’s heat left of that fire
that once -if ever- existed.

Oh, life!
This life of mine
so cold, icy, empty and indifferent…

Why?

“Mi Vida”

Vida… !Ay, la vida! La vida mía…
Soy un trabalenguas; pocos me descifran.
Soy un rompecabezas; pocos me arman.
Soy un crucigrama; pocos me llenan.
Me siento cual disco duro que necesita desfragmentación.
Mujer de nieve; blanca y fría…
Fría e indiferente.

Soy cual mar de hielo que no logran cruzar.
Mujer sin alma…
Alma que quizás se congeló…
O frizó; con tanto frío sentimiento.

¿Por qué, me pregunto, me siento tan vacía?
¿Qué me falta, díganme, para satisfacerme?
No me gusta sentirme así…
O no sentir en absoluto.

Soy como ceniza cuya llama está tan oculta
que no hay huracán que encuentre…
En caso de quedar llamas de aquel fuego
que alguna vez -si acaso- existió.

¡Ay, la vida!
Esta vida mía tan
fría, helada, vacía e indiferente…

¿Por qué?

“Emptiness”/”Vacuidad”

“Emptiness”

Empty, as always,
that’s how I feel;
even though some happiness brightens
my emptiness a bit.
I look at myself and I see
ungratefulness.
What right do you have
to complain about life?
What right?
You live surrounded by beings that
love you and are loyal to you.
How dare you
complain?
Dishonorable feelings of yours!
False! Traitor!
What do you need?
Damned! Obscene!
Keep wandering in your emptiness,
and looking for that perfectionism
that you’re not to find…
While those who love you
ignore how false you are.

“Vacuidad”

Vacía, como siempre,
así me siento;
aunque cierta alegría ilumina
un poco la vacuidad.
Me miro y veo
malagradecimiento.
¿Con qué derecho
te quejas de la vida?
¿Con cuál?
Vives rodeada de seres que
te aman y te son fieles.
¿Cómo entonces te
atreves a quejarte?
¡Ignominios sentimientos tuyos!
¡Falsa! ¡Traidora!
¿Qué necesitas?
¡Maldita! ¡Obscena!
Sigue vagando en tu vacuidad,
y buscando ese perfeccionismo
que no has de hallar…
Mientras los que te aman
ignoran cuan falsa eres.

“Forgive Me”/”Perdón”

“Forgive me”

To you that have given me everything,
I ask for forgiveness.
You woke me up, you liberated me,
you gave me everything…
and I don’t deserve it.

Forgive me because you think I do
deserve it,
but only I know that I don’t.
I’m a hypocrite, and I will continue
to be one.

I ask for forgiveness, but you’ll never know.
It calms my conscience to ask the emptiness.
I have everyone fooled,
and I don’t regret it.

I’m sorry, to those of you that have given me everything,
and that I have hypocritically fooled.
I’m sorry, because I ask for forgiveness and I don’t mean it…
that’s why I say I’m sorry.

“Perdón”

A tí que todo me has dado, te pido perdón.
Me despertaste, me liberaste, me lo diste todo..
y yo no lo merezco.

Perdóname porque crees que sí lo merezco,
pero sólo yo sé que no.
Soy una hipócrita, y lo voy a seguir siendo.

Te pido perdón, pero no lo habrás de saber.
Calma mi conciencia el pedírselo al vacío.
Tengo a todos engañados,
y no me arrepiento.

Perdón, a ustedes que todo me han dado,
y que yo hipócritamente he engañado.
Perdón, porque les pido perdón sin sentirlo..
por eso es que les pido perdón.

Kept Himself to Himself – by j. mills

The police stood at the Gates of Heaven, bored.
The neighbours had complained about the mess.
In the weeds beyond there lay a rusty sword,
Not flaming, but illegal nonetheless.

D.I. Briggs arrived and gave the nod.
Keen cops pulled out the new pneumatic ram.
Briggs looked, and waved them back: the Gates of God
Were wedged open by the carcass of a lamb.

They waded through the ferns and past the shed.
The house itself was old but nothing grand.
They found God stiff and rotting in his bed,
The video remote still in his hand.

“Poor old sod,” sighed Briggs, “the third this week.”
Wearily he wrote down all the facts:
“The furniture is old, the floorboards creak,
The video machine is Betamax.”

They left the place to weeds and rotten fruit.
Nothing but the ghost of God moves there.
The fate of the estate lies in dispute:
They say there was a son, but God knows where.

Intersection – by Octavia

I am in Bavaria, with Constance.
She is Catholic, a native, and
Her name ends in stanza –
A way of speaking, not standing.
We visit the churches, to see inside her head.
Round, squat, a heavy dome with sloping roof
And everywhere a riot of colour.
It’s strange having so much of it in a church
Outside the muted rose of old windows,
Or so I think, and so I think here.
For it’s not muted – pink and gold is everywhere.
Little cherubs, the Baroque style,
Curls and squiggles on every surface –
The bad taste fairy gone mad.
I know what would fit, but don’t like to say
Although I can see it in my atheist’s eye:
A velvet Elvis behind the altar would fit right in.
He winks at me, multiplies my stifled giggles.
I am sent outside, because I cannot behave.

I am in London, with Constance.
We are at Westminster, and I, the ex-pat Kiwi,
Am showing what I think a cathedral should be
From my stance outside the Church.
Certain in my disbelief, but certain also
In the loveliness of the spires
Grey pillars soaring, decoration only
In the plain fluted columns well out of reach,
The solemn darkness of the old stone.
Space and science, a miracle of architecture.
If there was a God he would be here, I think.
But Constance is unimpressed –
She misses colour, the dreadful cherubs,
Doesn’t like Gothic, thinks it’s boring.
Here there are no distractions, I tell her.
Here you must listen to the priest, take in his words.
She looks at me and grins.
Exactly, says Constance, the good Catholic.
Who wants to do that?