If they should tell you all the world is full
of evil, and there’s nothing without sin,
that life’s bitter extent is but a test
to grind away transgression from the heart,
the better to prepare your way elsewhere,
or that salvation is beyond our grasp,
enmeshed in esoteric rites and laws
requiring a third party to reveal,
know this: they haven’t listened to the word
that fills the universe with life and breath,
but learned about the sacred second-hand.
And should they tell you that they speak to “God”,
or know “His” plan for you, just smile and nod,
and seek the source if you would know the truth.
13 MAR 2004