Pope visits Mexico

And I watched the television news of the great arrival
Swelled masses around the bullet-proof popemobile
(Something cartoon-like about the pontiff’s wheels)
And something too serious about a swell of people

The news cameras panned over the masses
Focused in on a man who was standing beside
A life-size cardboard cut out of the pope prop
A photo op collage against a background mass
To be put in the icon stack in the living rooms

The reporter then interviewed a woman standing with
Child in arms, the only madonna and child in Chiapas
He asked her why she wasn’t making her way
Down in the masses converging to see the pope

He’s just like any other man, she said, no more, no less
A human born to this earth of flesh and blood like you and me
She was just there when the crowd formed around her village
(I search for her forever and kneel to her simple radiance)

She holds frail hope of a spirit beyond polluted flesh: this life
That populates the unknown like a cancer destroying its host
Abstracting gods in icons, symbols, and beliefs, and blame
And the horrible, murderous sufferings that all religions bring

In the bellows of distance of all blank space we’ll meet in spirit
Beyond the cartoon revelations that destroy the world cut adrift
Beyond all those praying masses bent with their asses in the air
Beyond all those praying banging their heads to the wailing wall
Beyond the lynch mobs born again pointing to another scapegoat
Who all claim certain some godly abstraction for this dying planet
To contribute slyly to murder and destroy the innocent creations

Charles Plymell's bio can be found at Cherry Valley Editions

© 2003 Underground Voices