Not faint or fool to harsh regret,

No guilty feelings come to call,

The cards once dealt I seize and play,

And win or lose I love them all.


Contempt’s contentment stills the soul,

As bitter herbs the palate pall,

But better still to crush the doubt,

And blame the serpent for the fall.


This tapestry we call our lives,

Is threadbare long before it’s done,

The matchless turns to thin brocade,

And colours fade before the sun.


The penitential fast and feast,

Condemning all exalting few,

Feeds like coarse unleavened bread,

Where heavens manna falls like dew.


Aquinas, Luther and the rest,

Reformers heretics or worse,

In prayer both blessed and sanctified,

Or condemned coldly with a curse.


Yet they would say they followed on,

In steps determined years before,

To shadow one who only served,

And opened wide redemptions door.


Tempted they say for forty days,

To panoplies of world delight,

To power beyond a tyrants dreams,

Or bread to eat and rest at night.


So once again and every year,

My challenge set, the cure to take,

To shrive and purge the intellect,

And corporal cause to clean or break.


I last on average half a week!

The devil has me in his claw,

This glutton wanting cake not bread,

And even finer wine to pour.


Not faint or fool to harsh regret,

The guilt not racking bone and blood,

I comfort me in knowing this,

My penitence will do no good.


But what I know may not be true,

And truth to ask what truth to trust,

When I like Pope’s and prelates all,

Will soon be so much scattered dust.


Some day my pride may bring me down,

One day some grace may bring me peace,

I wait for that beatitude,

When sacrifice will give release.






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John Coopey

Thu 29th Dec 2011 23:03

Finely balanced morality piece between taking personal responsibility and the influence of the "superpowers". It brought to mind the ghost of Kipling.

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 29th Dec 2011 17:47

If some lines are trifles for the appetite, then these are meat and gravy! Well done sir!
The care and thought are there in abundance - and it shows.
Food for thought for any year.

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