On Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines


So it comes down to these:
The faith that moves mountains,
Hope eternal.
Shouts of joy and anguish
At sight of the Pope
Wading across the immaculate field,
Through the smithy of our memory of time;
Cries camouflaging pain,
Poverty, perhaps despair,
Rising to prayers for salvation
In symphony
With the palavering masses
From other worlds and far-off places.
We have not seen
An ocean or a conflagration, as it were,
So cosmic and phantasmal,
In a long time:
Praise be the Maker.
And yet we’ve always known
In our hearts,
The music of the stars.

So what is there to fear.
Among the madding crowd,
Where draw the line,
Between the unenlightened,
And the committed;
The oblivious,
And the wide-eyed;
The will-o’-the-wisps,
And Jesus’s crown of thorns;
Where lies the fault.
Among all peoples
Struggling to break free,
Dreaming of paradise.

We are all God’s children,
But left perhaps
To wander around the planet
On our own;
What does it mean
To be catholics or communists,
Or atheists,
Does it matter, indeed,
What faiths we profess,
If the same golden heart abides
And bleeds for the poor and the oppressed.
Though infinite the voices and signs of language,
Wouldn’t everything align
In the presence of this caring, loving heart,
Compassionate, merciful
Defining with such invincibility,
Our common realities, locations, ideologies.

At lease, we owe Pope Francis,
the truth.

That for the heartless few:
The greedy, warmongering capitalists,
Imperialists and their minions,
Terrorists and Beelzebubs:
They all will jettison,
Be thrown to the pit,
Where there will be no poetry
Nor music,
But the horrible clucking of tongues,
Shrill, execrable cries
Of eternal suffering,
Monsantuan torment,
Foul smell,
Untold pain,
Fighting and unending discord,
Bodies gangrened and torn apart,
Twisted faces,
Phlegethonian rivers of blood,
And Cocytus and Satan himself
Buried in ice and freezing dead
For all eternity,
In the coldest, coldest, darkest night.


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