POEMS: Eros MutatusTo the Red Cross WorkersReflectionsA Prayer at PentecostTo My GrandchildrenA Modern OdysseyEphemeridsBernini’s DavidSocrates’ ExhortationTed Kaczynski: UnabomberTo DanteA Faustian BargainAt the CrossroadA Modern Eden Is the Bible BeltThe Third TemptationPrometheos Revisited


Through Self's Veneer: Poetry by Robert J. Nolan (drawing of two heads in profile facing each other)


A Modern Eden Is the Bible Belt

A modern Eden is the Bible belt,
      Peopled with constricted minds,
Who, desperate to dull the pain they’ve felt,
      Freebase on fork-tongued divines.

These viperous tempters know their prey too well,
      That their world’s so leaden grey,
All they need proffer to effect their spell
      Is the drama of Judgment Day.

Bearing witness to the world’s bedevilment,
      They close their coils ever tight,
Showing even they can be penitent—
      Just to get the widow’s mite.

The reward’s the closure of Eden’s gate,
      Every soul safely consigned,
Who’re only obliged to capitulate
      The freedom of the mind.

Having tasted the sweet fruit of certainty
      And rid their lives of despair,
They’ve banished the pain of Gethsemane,
      For Christ was already there!

“He died for all, so why make things worse
      By martyring ourselves as well?
It’s enough He’s rid us of Adam’s curse
      And descended into Hell.

“We’re here to enjoy the fruits of His labor,
      We’re satisfied that’s God’s plan;
Our principal work’s to convince our neighbor
      We’ll do whatever we can

“To teach him, like us, to be a precisian;
      With our doctrine we’ll instill him;
And if he declines to accept our vision,
      What choice have we? but to kill him.”

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  © Robert J. Nolan, 2010