I don’t understand

I don’t understand

I don’t understand the reason

I watch and listen

I’m confused by people

As they stand up straight

In front of the cross

And mouth the words

Of the hymnal and still insist

This is a Christian nation

And I am left in a state

Of wondering in that way

That I frequently find

That leads me to question.

Does Christ’s teaching

Mean absolutely nothing?

Or have no significance at all?

For the self-professed Christian

When they declare that war

Is necessary and can’t be avoided

Even when warmongers are born again

I shouldn’t be surprised or confused.


It was another war in another time

And I remember listening then

To the same rationale

The need to defend ourselves

From a threat by a nation so poor

It couldn’t feed itself let alone

Pay for bullets, bombs and planes.

And I watched that older generation

Mouth the same words, the same

Hymns insisting the need for war

As they raised themselves from prayer

And moved their lips to the “Our father”.

It was enough to set me walking

From the stalls of the choir

And turn my back on the mouthing

Of words without grace or meaning

I’ll say it again I’m confused by people

But perhaps the blame lies with me

For this perpetual confusion

Maybe I expect too much of others.


And as Billie that crooked boned

Hedge layer once said “You know

People never change” with an absence

Of a critical tone but he looked at me

Hard all the same, holding my eyes

To see whether I’d heard his meaning.


From the poetry collection “Time to Heal”.


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