Sunday Religion


I heard a woman speak and offer searching questions on
The radio today:
Why is it we exist; why are we here?
My spirit leapt; at last! A voice is primal-seeking
For substance-meaning, life-intentionality.

Ah, me,
This veritable she
Was perorating gravely on her business goals.

Thus it was Sunday listening; post-truth, and being broached
In gauche post-modern style, its unaccomplished mush
And so I thought to write you down this due consideration


Once would there be, and prompt and early, across the nation
A mighty chime to sound out nine, signing the Station
With solemn mind announces time to broadcast likely
Faith-elevated Doctors of considerable sorts,
Them shedding light in general

In those unheard of days, the audience house-trained, taught;
There was the Third, then there was Light, but with the Home
These trinity stopped work and rested on the Sabbath day.
A cornered market – no, in fact, there was no market

The time of Radio 1 and such had not yet come. The jolly pops
From dawn till dawn interminate did not prevail
An only lonely ghostly distant eerie young-like thing purturbed
At nights the waves with white noise, driftings in and out

Where gormless Horace Batchelor would his ruse, his rules purvey
Which guaranteed the gormless listener wins ‘the football pools’;
Another dated phantomesque phenomenon.
Hucks will remember Luxemburg, with squirming warm affection

Ah, simple days, the days when things were seemly sure
Less calculated, more ramshackle, done with much more feeling
The light bulbs dazzled had no shades, uneven ceilings
Slanted; we called it home

Soon was to come – a few years down the line, and yet
Some time before the BBC moves, and reneges to pop
A band of seaward privateers’ rave music; floating shops,
Airwaves with hoardings

These gondoliers at sea (in following money) interposed
Anchored offshore in creaking scrapyard dhous regaling loudly
Daily to local audiences, peppered ads in pandemonium
Of jaunty raunchy music; throngs adored them, heartwards moored them

To first choice to be tuned-to, to hear new emergent singles.
Profuse a BBC bruised haemorrhaged listeners; siren-lures
Having the nation swept from its stalwart standard stuff
And soon by mainforce called, a rapid radio rethink urged

Note the nice art, a canny sort pushed primal force for change
Blithely had gamed things so to go unnamed, indeed had feigned
Had made this phrase: ‘youth-culture, its permissive revolution’;
To overshadow business breaking bad on Redifusion

In fiftysix or seven ITV first breathed, phoned home,
A television channel off the leash, no statesman’s watchdog
Its scheme brought in commercial funds, a copious subsistence
From trifling fancies dressed up nice; mass advertisments

Hot driving seat in living rooms from Bath to Berwick
An instant life change broached from Roche to Lerwick
Its upstart god sprung fully-armed from out the head of commerce
Nor else to be rehoused

Alas, beforehand hegemony made Beeb a sole provider
Customer satisfaction not invented, thus allowed their call,
The scatter of the schedules, broadcast platters of the day,
And people sat and watched or listened, whiled tediums away

Thus Sundays stood yet honoured not in breach but
The observance; and manners, kind polite consideration
Were sweet survivors, the empiric strength of British passions
In great measure respect the essential cue to do religion

Observe commerce was actual nurse and agent blaring boombox
Of overwhelming hectic musics, TV hogmanays
Danced every day from dawn to dusk in civic roundelay
With candied added value:

Broad brags of trade marks cauterise brand listeners’ brains
‘Take anything you want’ said fair concupiscent refrains
Regular as like taxes, death, their come-ons kept on coming
Filing the ears with reared desires: Get ideal homes NOW: Stunning!

And fancy goods, new plastics, Addis, entroviaform,
A world was being opened, prised, by manufactured toys
Jingles in peoples’ hearts were playing on their serial sighs
Releasing passions’ fires, desires; their inmost lurid demons

The thing took off, in avalanche took over common reasons
Ballooned a topsy-turvey land inperative pretension
And expectation, air-castles of dissociation throned
Lusts’ musts above one’s income

These then the borders reivers, buccaneers of creeded hearts
When seeded billion pollens, wrung de gustibus contortions
Astute extortions brash supplanted widespread graced decorum
Allowing kowtow

And crazy chaos, craven customer solicitations
Eliciting by effect ‘anything goes’; and so a rose
By any other name called freedom, stole by traction
In, and brought in faction, leading license by the nose.

The shops, the pops, the over-shoulder hanging locks
Stores, supermarkets, cash and carrys overflows of boose
Open all day, all you can eat, the bottomless coffee cup;
Excess’s paliaitial wisdom missed its mark, gave us the slip

Instead was bred overplus great furror for ‘one’s inspiration’
And reverend ‘creativity’ the ‘arts and stuff’; the fashion
A rennaisance heralded, foreclosed, indulged, poetics
The world, alack, expressed themselves, purloined their fifteen minutes

The planet heard, was vitalised, began monetise our visits
First Spain and The Ballaerics, Greece; ..ah, no, not Aquitaine
Too near, expensive, Aquitaine, set on a merry plane
To Spain we bundled money down its main proverbial drain

Yearly our peregrinations made fast-forward hyper-gains
(Do note my use of idiom; selling fervent latest names
Of cool consumerism; branding-led entcements’ party games
Deck out the passage)

The forward destinations exponentially now ranged
And Florida becomes passē, Antarctic’s silent waste
Or Andean Cordillera give rough remote terrains
In our visions high momentous hove such epic paradigms

Backdrops on which to paint our ‘there’s no limits’ frenzied faze
There are two a penny cruises, let’s process in two by two
Along with psychic holidays from (being my contention)
Comensurate engagement with a ravaged state of things

Our grand New Zealand visit, ah, of course, Lord of the Rings,
And Mechico, Tequilla, drug cartels meet murderers
Safe gated mansions, herded in, with shopping malls hereto
We tour the goldfish bowl!

Our living packaged, plasticised, and fibre enervate
Clinically sanitised of course, aesthetically authentic
Swimming in a la carte we glide from furthest shore to shore
Expecting and perplexing, ever self-assured

Soul-lowly hungry Olivers thrust begging bowls out candid
Niggardly tourist passers-by go rogue in togs top-branded
Suffer few coppers flung among, their greasy palms to blandish;
Fairweather Pharisees

Meantime on British shores perpetual marketplaces bulge
Malls pouring through rude customers, cram brimming overstocks,
Ultra-production’s super-saturated sponge in groundswell
Proliferates abounding

A risen surge, such malls had prised an open chink with fists
Which riven, and given early to ITV; pop radio;
Wore flaws, applause a nation roared, so coursed a holy cause:

Its ecumenical secular soaring ubiquity
Gave global wayside shrines, set up with icons brave
And running mad disciples pilgrimaging clustered brawls
Regaling spoiled resources

Surreal: in serial, social, mayhem earth’s resources hauled
Into the trash pond grandly in a throwaway mad mode
Aeons of decades dump waste refuse into lifeblood seas
The wealth of earth attainted unashamedly

Anon along with mirth a ton of cursive dispossession
Alike been squandered, laundered, on our sunny jamboree
Has hit the deck, or rafters, like last chance saloon bartenders;
Our Sunday suits got crumpled

Like those machines which gobble up our splendid fumefree cars
Issue their metal boxes, crushed, a mess, like our lame days
Comfort confines us likewise, then next straight we goes our ways
Into a wooden casket

Sundays were freed, unfettered, but their term dreadfully dull
Suddenly all distraction ceased, fell great industrial rest
Everything closed except for Church, from Aldershot to Hull
Time’s nomads stranded

Argives becalmed on shores awaiting embarkation winds
Feeling delay right heavy, waiting weighing spirits down
Nonetheless drear ennui its patent wholesome scourge effected
And rebel sorts considered

Clash of the Titans pitches held no teleported sway
Cash of the Raybans hovered still some six decades away
Nor a collateral clatter broke alarmingly each day
We turn our calendars

Enstamped another senior mode was franked by grattiude
A harbour-bar prospective shimmered elsewhere, lit horizons
Death strewed a light, and Sunday silence plumbed it sounding
Impromptu on it
Unwelcome day then Sunday, empathised as death companion
Locus The Church itself bore faithfully among its grounds
Sunday then, messenger, brought bad news conscious foremost –
So shoot it down

Foster palava, drown with sentient onboard raid incursions
Throw out Messiah with His Sea of Gallilee
Go expurgate life, then instate insatiate yens elsewhere;
This chair?

Footware? Or drive-by shooting holiday? Have an affair?
All the regalia paraphernalia whose hallmark flogs obsession
Possessions and acquisitions told in Legion manifest
Contestants for this turf are manifestly extreme unction

Knockabout, throwitout, no tomorrow Saturnalias
Daily shillelaghs, accordions, ukeleles, ceilids
Noise for the boys, twirled parasoles for girls;
Meanwhile real-life sore wars bankroll a planet

Incident days come in and bearing brandished urgent colour
Manic swing flashing lights, slip-tags bright messages on fastenings
Chucking delights at acolytes excited like hyped children;
Kind winning voices

Selling, extolling, excelled in cultivation, going maundering
On strolls inconsequential; absence strewed amongst the lilac fields
Soft-scented fined imaginings wind a pungent garland;
Comatose, and you feel a million dollars

Everyone’s up for everything in this vaunted pastoral
Golddiggers, action-figures, up for millionnaires
Impudence streaming, passes round the sweatmeat cream eclairs
Groomed for impugning

The actuality of solid matter-of-fact:
Oh, what a tawdry world we live in – what we make of it
Make stinking-fish of religion, and then attribute its doors
With wars, destructions, drop it in the junk room

Pass it away, inter it. Dance, devour life’s action, serve it!
Putting away oneself, one’s best election promise
Out of a wassail bowl pour off full stoup of tribulation
Raise up your knees

Let’s all go round and round in hula-hula stupor schmooze
Hopelessly thinking nothing, nothing thinking stands to lose
Carving up glories of the earth, a theme park run amuck
There’s naught religion gives us matters like the monster truck

Our ends are all economic, money matters satistify
Easing this nightmare whisper, a carpet lifting on the stair
As wanton winds make an entry, send up loathsome chilly air
Caught on the chest, come contrary, appalling Bacchic cheer

A session of concession gives respite, prorogues the day
Semesters thence forthcoming find despite another way
Scattered with thorns laid acrid bare, embraced and laced with tears
Harbinger confirmation, evidence to all your fears

Passing on rotten batons, futures going to unfulfilling
Hear resonate in backwoods ungent anastasia trilling
Is it a demon, does it bode contrition, something billing?
Acute Salvation

Takes up your arm, salutes you, illywhacker; able willing
To take a side, and know the side you take’s the winning
Because provides a gift of love forever; forever-forgiving; thrilling!
The Lord, The Lord, is lowly.

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