Jesus, you came with Peter Rabbit,
Mowgli and Pooh Bear.
School tried to make your prayers a habit
But it was hard to care.
Teachers said do what you said
(Though things you did were odd),
But didn’t follow where you led –
So, just a load of cod.
I saw you as a man forthwith –
If you were real at all,
And not some mushroom-inspired myth,
Tales primitive and tall.
Though stored away up in the attic
The image of you stays:
Wit, healing, laughter… enigmatic
Violent angry frays…
Bush/Cheney occupied Iraq
As Rome did Palestine;
Bin Laden tales came down a track
With yours to intertwine:
Lean, bearded, robed and cinematic
Striding over hills,
Laughing and angry, the fanatic
Invokes, inspires and kills.
Pig-eating, beardless Westerners
Uniformed and well-armed,
Are just thieving idolaters
Who leave God’s people harmed.
Seize, cleanse the Temple at Passover,
King of the Jews! But all
Faith fails against Rome, you discover…
(The tale was changed by Paul.)
Published online in Snakeskin (UK) July 2016