09 July 2006

In the name of . . .

What god gives men blank cheques
to spend life liquidly in his name?

The same that sits calmly

watching almond trees

explode pink blossoms

into smoky skies

to snow upon

the rubbled flesh

of others of his


What god

his name being called

as the last act before murder —

the Act of our species.

We have created

the creature called War —

with a longer memory

than the elephant

and a longer tail

to lash the living

throughout the


What god pets this creature,
warms to its purr?

No god, for we were made —

our species — not for hating,

but to mate together.

we should be making mongrels now,

not war.

Rulers justified their conduct by making conquest a religious duty and giving credit for victory to their gods. 'Enlil did not let anyone oppose Sargon,' an Assyrian text asserts of the man who destroyed Israel in 722 BC. The Israelites, for their part, saw nothing outrageous in statements like this from Exodus: 'The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.'
Life in the Biblical World by Richard Walker, Reader's Digest, 1996
This excellent book casts enlightenment upon Truth. It is out of print, though it deserves a place in every library, especially now. "The laws of Moses and Hammurabi contain some striking parallels..."

"In the name of . . ." © Anna Tambour, first appeared in Jabberwocky, #1, July 2005

(Her name is Astarte, bumped off by the Lord)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautifully, horribly, pertinent in these days of "sectarian" wars. It couldn't be said better.