Guest Poem: Ballade For The Delusional

Ballade For The Delusional

© Philip Dunkerley


For far too long religion’s caused confusion,

I do not understand it, I confess,

It numbs the mind with fiction and allusion

 ..To things beyond this world, and faithfulness.

Thousands of creeds exist, and all profess

To be the Only Truth, and by preclusion

The case for each is full of doubtfulness;

Religion’s manifestly a delusion.


Religion works in terms of the collusion

Of members of a group who must express

Unquestioning belief, and the occlusion

Of all who beg to differ or digress.

Religious leaders ruthlessly suppress

The merest hint of discord or diffusion

Of new ideas, or even thoughtfulness,

Religion’s manifestly a delusion.


Religion’s deeply rooted in exclusion

And uses all its power to repress

Those exercising reason; the illusion

 …Of living after death is meaningless.

Live your life on earth with thankfulness,

It merits celebration and inclusion

Of every living thing in one big Yes!

Religion’s manifestly a delusion.



God, (how strange it is to make you this address,

you don’t exist) – I’ve come to this conclusion

The world of faith is one unholy mess,

Religion’s manifestly a delusion.


National Poetry Month–Guest Poet 5: Salty Current

I have always loved the writing of the person I only know as SC, or Salty Current. Intelligent, emotional, well-crafted in prose and in poetry, her writing is always worth the reading (and always far more poetic than mine; I am far too chained to rhyme and meter, and SC is one of the few who makes me regret that). So I’ll direct you here, to a recent poem she quite incorrectly predicted I would hate. And then I’ll cheat a bit, and quote a separate poem, linked at the above, also written for National Poetry Week, and which I just absolutely love:

Three Dead Animals

The bullfighter, writer, and sportsman Ignacio Sánchez Mejías died
the morning of 13 August, 1934.

The bull Granadino died
around that time.

The poet Federico García Lorca died
in the same era.

National Poetry Month–Guest Poet 3: Callinectes

In my continued observance of National Poetry Month, I present for your amusement and edification a verse by reader Callinectes, which I find wonderfully illustrates a problem that a lot of my students have. Of course, it does so by way of metaphor:

In the land of Pyrûn, an exporter of lead
Ruled by a king (who’s extremely inbred)
Homeland of giants, but the giants are dead
So the towns are beset by a dragon instead

You can only burn down and eat all a man’s stuff
So many times before he’ll say, “Enough!
It’s time for the dragon to see that we’re tough,
Our knight will extinguish that piteous Puff!”

So out rode their champion, in gleaming steel armour
Bearing his shield with its heraldic llama
To be the right hand of the force they call Karma
(At this point it’s safe to assume there’ll be drama)

And drama there is, but you’ll have to click through to read it. Delightful, in my opinion. Enjoy!

National Poetry Month–Guest Poet 2: richardelguru

In my continuing observance of National Poetry Month, I present my second guest poet–too modest, but I am a sucker for a new verse form:

I’m more of an essayist, but I once (possibly) invented the Hairimeraku.
There are essays explaining the structure and the necessity of them fulfilling “both the exacting requirements of the Japanese haiku, and the even more exacting requirements of the Irish limerick… the best of them having both seasonal and salacious aspects as befits their combined ancestry” here and here, but I’ll add the verse here to save you the disappointment of visiting my site.

I’d visit anyway–it’s actually a pretty cool story of the invention of the verse… but since he added them, here they are: [Read more…]

National Poetry Month–Guest Poet 1: Kate Jones

It is, as I said earlier, National Poetry Month (here in the US, anyway). I am very happy to present my first guest poet, Kate Jones:

The two appended pieces were originally created for the bi-annual Gathering for Gardner (honoring Martin Gardner) in 2010 and 2012, the 9th and 10th such congresses of writers, thinkers, mathematicians, magicians, scientists and philosophers (and occasional rabble like me). I have presented these two pieces in various modified forms at other venues. The current embodiments have stripped all illustrations, leaving the essential text. Should you be curious to see the decorated editions, they are here:

I strongly urge you to visit–while I love these poems in the stripped down version below, it is even better to see them as originally envisioned–my own verses are only very rarely accompanied by any sort of visual… anything. It makes a difference; I am going to have to learn from this Kate.

For those too stubborn to click the links and see the poems as originally intended, the bare versions are after the jump: [Read more…]

Through A Glass, Darkly (another guest post by Dr. Adequate)

I asked the preacher to expound
where in the Bible it is found,
and where in Scripture written
why evil flourishes, and why
when blameless children starve and die
still tyrants live unsmitten.

He sighed: “Alas! If we but knew;
but I am human, so are you:
a humble, mortal man.
We cannot see things through God’s eyes
or with his wisdom, know how wise
the workings of his plan.”

The ways of God are not our ways;
that’s what the Bible clearly says
(Isaiah 55).
We cannot know; God only knows:
the dead are dead because he chose
and those who live, alive.

His thoughts are not our thoughts, alas!
We see as through a darkened glass
(according to St. Paul).
Don’t fuss yourself with asking why;
in Heaven, maybe, when you die
perhaps you’ll know it all.”

I thanked him more than once or twice
for all of his profound advice,
and made a careful note.
“I have another question”, then
I asked this humblest of men.
“Say, how would Jesus vote?”

“I’m glad you asked”, replied the man;
“he’s certainly Republican
and hates the Democrats.
He sheddeth his eternal light
upon extremists on the right
and doesn’t think they’re bats.

I know for sure the great I AM
thinks global warming is a scam,
in every last degree.
He favors tort reform as well,
and has a special place in Hell
for those who don’t agree.

Ye demons of the Left, despair!
His curse is on Obamacare
(he hates the Kenyan’s guts).
And woe to those who separate
in any way, the Church and State:
that really drives him nuts.

Don’t peril your immortal soul
by advocating gun control;
that’s sinful, I’m afraid.
His hand is on the GOP,
and need I spell it out how he
interprets Roe v. Wade?

He loves the rich, of that I’m sure
(when he said “Blessed are the poor”
that’s really what he meant.)
He hates the Mexicans and blacks;
he favors a consumption tax
of six point five percent.

Ah, wicked and corrupt must be
those sinful folk who disagree,
and willfully obtuse.
So plain are all God’s thoughts and ways
that just as the apostle says
‘they are without excuse’.”
[Read more…]