i know, it is not for me to say
save by the barest fault
of my conspicuous humanity
bowing before marble altars
embedded with fragile bone

these well disciplined affirmations
so bereft of honest intent
decree god’s hollow victory
more than divine declarations
and inflated parish rolls

in the aisles of kirks shuffling humbly
over carpeted mosques bowing modestly
yet sauntering through the streets
mulling over munificent gestures
mincing every well-advertised charity

while in tomb-like concealment
cementing these mortal bonds
degenerative organs frantically copulate
seething in copious want
moaning overzealous praise

the prophylactic vision of one
is surely as appalling
as the permissivity of the other—
together have you denuded passion
of its honest innocence

what answer can a man offer:
to hell with your fumbling chastisements
enough of your lascivious breath
bearing down on fearful hearts
stifling the harmony of flesh and soul

pressed against the well-worn tiles
within each house of god
the aching knees of submissive man
do bear far greater weight
than his heart ever has

Salt Lake City 03 Feb 2013

11 thoughts on “submission

    • Oh, thank you, Susan. I really did not mean this to be a criticism of faith or institutions. Faith actually means quite a lot to me, although I am exceedingly suspicious of institutions. And of the type of submission to religious institutions that weakens individual thought and intent. When I wrote this, I was in a mood of reclaiming passion from those who have dragged it into a cold, utilitarian space AND from those who have tied it to lascivious lifestyles. Passion to my thinking is not about lust. Nor should it be hidden away as a shameful quality of man. I truly do believe that passion is a beautiful and honest expression of love. And I think I see in many verses in these pages here a comparable view.


      • Oh, you most certainly do see a compatible view, George–mine included. What I meant by not wanting to agree with the poem is how sadly and often faith is exploited by the institutions that on the surface claim to support it. Really a shame, and God (in his/her many forms) is watching.


      • I believe she is, Susan. And for all the times she feels inclined to shake her head in dismay and even disgust, I think there must be times as well when she nods in agreement. And smiles. As you have made me smile with your reply.


  1. I could not agree with you more, dear George. My physical pleasures are not related to the admiration and affection I have for anyone I should love….loving them in the most platonic and pure sense.

    It outrageous me when people demean love with their base needs.


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