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[Portage, Mi, August 9, 2009]

I got a note from a man I will call
St. John, denizen of the Bible Belt,
Demanding I “stop my blaspheming of
the Holy Name Of our Lord,” informing
me it is neither exclamation
nor an expletive, but the Holy Name
of God’s Son, our Savior, and thusly
god will not be mocked,” his final word.
I wrote back and told him to stop reading
Things he finds so objectionable,
But stopped short of warning him away
From all the sordid things in the Bible.
St. John, what if I am Jewish, Muslim,
Buddhist, Zoroastrian or Hindu?
You see, John, the majority of the world
Is not Christian, yet most people believe in god,
Interpreting his Will with different
rules and philosophies than Christians espouse.
As I remember my Catholic upbringing,
Christians are supposed to accept
Differences, unless you are Luther
Who wanted Christians to hunt down all
Jews and burn them, a side of his reform
(Seldom discussed openly these days,
But read translations of what he scribed)
God is about kindness, positive spirit,
Not the blind following of rules built
On tales recounted round fires eons back.
John, I tell stories about people the way
They are, not how you would like them to be
John, I write fiction, form of make-believe,
A genre you undoubtedly knoweth,
And on this note I close with a distinct
Scent in my nose, the kind one gets
When others poke theirs into yours,
Certain they have all the right answers
When you know it is the most rare human
Who even suspects the right questions.   

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