Friday, 13 September 2013

Overheard in a Cafe OR A Sign of the Times

This poem reflects just what its title suggests, a conversation overheard in a café. I have included it in my new collection. I came away from that cafe feeling more than a little relieved that I am not alone in finding the various world religions divisive.

Societies force-feed us religion from childhood. It is reassuring to know that some people manage to take the better (kinder, more compassionate?) elements of religion while sidelining the rest, breaking away from the dogma while retaining its spirituality in the way they take other people as they find them...without rushing to judgment as so many religious-minded folks are inclined. It is not religion that is at fault, but many of those who preach it, selecting to home in on whatever suits their own agenda; an agenda that may well have far less to do with religion than its founders intended.

Let's be clear here. I am not knocking religion, only those who use it to their own advantage, frequently feeding a desire for influence and power that is contrary to all the principles upon which faith and religion are meant to turn.

It is to their credit that a good many followers of this or that religion are by no means as gullible as their self-styled leaders appear to believe, proving that religion does not have to be as divisive as their so-called 'betters' paradoxically insist.

As for me, regular readers will know only too well that I take my spirituality from nature.

(Image taken from the Internet)

What would we do without religion,
where would we be?
For a start, we’d have a kinder world,
less bigotry

What would we do without religion
telling us what to say?
For a start, commonsense might just
win the day

What would we do without religion
putting us in our place?
For a start, love and peace, not about
saving face

What would we do without religion,
no God to blame?
For a start, a common humanity living
up to its name

Where would we be without religion
separating us out,
Holy Books vying with each other to
put us right?

Where would we be without religion
promising salvation
for all the guilt, despair and grief
it feeds upon?

Where would we be without religion,
what would we have done?
For a start, arguing over some other
rhetorical question

Yes, waiter, more tea and cakes please
and…any answers?

[From: On The Battlefields Of Love by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2010]

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