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So only the dirty, the unclean, ungodly

Will be refused favour come judgement day

They will sit in their hovels of dust a distress

And live out their lives in their dishevelled way

They will scrape in the filth for a reason to live

They will hurt, they will need, they will cry, they will pay

For their corrupt and defiled code of getting on by

Where they sin and can’t even be bothered to pray


You are left on your own to continue the fight

The guardian angel refuses to stay

The gold gates of heaven are barred to you now

And the gatekeeper tells you to “just go away,”

“We have counted your sad misdemeanours on earth

And cannot allow you admittance” he’ll say.

So you carry your sins in a carrier bag

And return to the living in damned disarray


Your soul is tainted by each daily toil

The soap and the water won’t keep demons at bay

You are tired and lonely and unloved by God

And you never realised how much your own sins would weigh

You’re the grubby and festering soil of mankind

The ugly and misshapen statue of clay

That hardens and crumbles when all’s said and done

You’re the promise of love that Judas will betray

cleanlinessday 13dirtdirty handsgodnapowrimo2018outcastsinnerunclean

◄ Wastelands

For Whom The Hammer Tolls ►


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Ian Whiteley

Thu 14th May 2020 14:18

Thanks for the kind comments mate - I'm glad it struck a chord with you.
I'm a fan of Leonard Cohen - so maybe that influence was there - although it wasn't deliberate.
I think this poem works on a couple of levels - it's basic thrust is the hypocrisy of religious teaching - that makes something that is less than perfect feel 'unclean' when it is those imperfections that make us human.
I wrote it quickly - but I like the rhythm of it and I will probably work on it at some point in the future to produce a song from it.
I really appreciate you taking the time to comment


Thu 14th May 2020 04:54

I can not tell you how much this poem resonates with me, its like that fundamental feeling of unworthiness, the last line gave me goosebumps, its a very beautiful poem, you should listen to Samson in New Orleans by Leonard Cohen, it represents the same thoughts

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