It’s no go the Yogi-Man, it’s no go Blavatsky,1
All I want is a pack of cigars, and a pint of whiskey
When the evening is spread out against the sky2
Like a penitent bereft of his heavenly pie.
Sorry, Descartes, I think, but I do not exist;
Sorry, Bergson, I exist, but I do not change.
Standing at the crossroads of life’s mid-way
I look like a scarecrow scared of crows,
Baffled by the tumbling turns of the tide,
The flaming sword of Eden’s cherub onward
To the battles and wars men fought with men:
His own God’s own men, in the widening gyre.3
It’s no go the bodhisattva, it’s no go the Mahatma,
All they want is a bank balance, and a bit of sadhana
On weekends to appease the thirst of the spirit
That’s superannuated on a computer’s digit.
Do not go gentle into that good night, my son,4
Coat your lollipop with iron and your heart with chocolate,
Fold your arms to the white of the priest’s habit,
Shake your hand with the blah-blah of your nation,
Do your job and hang your hat on a bomb,
And wait in patience for the extreme unction.
The hourglass distils sand dunes in a desert
And waits for an avalanche to descend the mount.
It’s no go Lord Jesus, it’s no go the Prophets,
All we’ll do is to nail you on our profits
And fall on our knees, content and worshipful,
1. Louis MacNeice, ‘The Bagpipe Music’
2. T.S.Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock’
3. William Butler Yeats, ‘The SecondComing’
4. Dylan Thomas, ‘Do Not Go Gentle IntoThat Good Night’
The above is an expurgated version of a poem I wrote about 20 years ago. A brief conversation that took place today among four persons including me reminded me of this poem. I had expressed my view that most religious people use religion as a mask for concealing their misdeeds if not crimes. People who do not believe in God and know why they don't are usually honest in their thoughts and deeds. It is because they are honest that they find it difficult to believe in God. Such people tend to do good to others while the religious people tend to exploit others. More interestingly, such religious people focus on the beauty of the pronunciation in recitation of prayers more than the spirit of the prayer!
If I were to write this poem today it wouldn't be the same, the expurgation notwithstanding. Twenty years cannot pass without altering one's attitudes in many ways. But I wished to revisit this poem because the conditions which forged it are very similar to those that I'm experiencing now.