POEM: Sunday Melancholia.

A dog left in the street sleeping under a blanket
of lazy unbuzzing flies
The blind beggar with his cup, unsalted with coins,
sweetens his own company by
peeing himself—no one is looking, no one cares.

The pious, and the demented alike,
heaven-bound,
erupt hymns like volcanoes;
singing, keening,
begging for a cure from
The incurable sore of existence—

Their puckered mouths brightened with dry froth
hollow the hallowed walls of the church
These temples built by steady hands of faithless masons
The murals above mime and dance
like wilted banana leaves
Cracking and bursting, clanging
a sea 0f broken bottles

The altars are empty.
Deserted like blighted cocoa groves
their history, a bland resonance,
a hanging song of the dying bard
Whose keening has colours—a kaleidoscope
of fading rainbows
a pot of copper at each end—

Glimmering dimly only as a tongue
that’s forgotten its only song does:
threading froth and spittle,
Hemming the promise of resolve
in pious faces wrinkled with river lights,
that shimmer with the shiver of their
reverent tears.

The children hungry and bored, clang
their empty pots
scraping the stain of devotion
off their skin
and the grown ups, smart and filthy with
Saturday night’s drinking, sit
Knotting their sorrows
along the pews with a broken serenade of sighs

Their shepherd shouts and pleads
Threatens and instructs;
his epoch,
bloated with blood and dry tears,
guilt-trips everyone, just ripe
for when the collection plate passes, gathering
their bribes, like white ants to lamp light
And the service ends with handshakes and mumbles
And they squirm like a poked anthill.

Noon, and the sleeping dog yawns,
barks as the chided children kick it
and the adults throw scorn and pity
at the beggar—
The reflection of their inadequacy
their faithlessness and into their houses
they settle to a quiet a silence that tastes like
Thirty pieces of silver
For they left God seated at home
watching the telly.

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