Monday, 10 October 2016

Ideology and Her Children, and Wisdom and Her Friends

A.k.a. Ideology and Her Children Sack the Earth and Their Souls but the Friends of Wisdom – Dismissed as Fools – Shall in the Lamb Carry Them to Pastures Greener Than They Understand

A poem written in the light of today's ideological climate. Wisdom, a title of the Virgin Mary, in contrast to Lady Folly spoken of in the Book of Proverbs.

'Minerva and the Muses,' Jacques Stella, 1640-45.
Minerva (Athena) in Graeco-Roman mythology was considered the goddess of wisdom.

Ideology is a woman and ‘sound thinking’ is a man,
Their offspring and devotees place them on the stand –
The pedestal of the mind where all the fools do flock,
Like vultures to the corpse. Yet that deluded lot
Think they feast like kings, beset with company royal,
But in the eyes of angels, a vision shared on day of great reversal,
The Descartes’, Lockes, Kants and Berkeleys
Will be the stupid ones;
Whilst the simple old widows who prayed every day, unknown,
At the back of chapels where religious and secular alike
Did mock their piety –
Will with the lepers and children
Reign as sages eternally.

But O them warriors! Samurai with plastic swords!
They fight fire with fire! Idea with Idea!
The clashing of cymbals, like an annoying gong,
The collision of world views – ideologies –
Which the gurus of the world, in pedagogy fraught,
Told them to construct from their day one.
Ah! the muses of above are hardly heard bellow anymore,
The sons of Joseph (of quiet and prayer),
The bearers of beauty rare,
The daughters of Zion, the little St. Clares,
They’re scattered here and there,
But even most of these, and those called thereto,
Have been seduced by Lady Folly – the Study of Ideas –
And have become ‘sound thinking’ gentries with their thoughtful little beards,
Stroking them as the Israelites stroked the Golden Calf:
Such activism, void of depth and relationship divine,
Is so sadly ineffective that chunky Alice’s caterpillar laughs.

And O Mandela and Ghandi would be surprised
To find that a prayer and kindly smile of a little child
Has done more to save the world than all their tasks;
Not that goodly works are valueless, nor efforts to redeem the world –
Nor that such figures known are bad and bad –
But outward looks and show, even those sincerely carried out
And flow from selfless heart, can’t compare
To the smallest act of such fawns by age or grace.
Since the fires set by Ideology – the same and single fire
Which opposing sides have lit, like those once lit
By the Trojans at Priam’s sons command, and the Greeks in their defensive stand –
Are snuffed by water soft and tender
Through the prayerful sighs of these children small
Whom the world doth render and consider daft and dumb and useless
In this mass production age.

“Check your privilege,” they all say, there at the factory door,
And the little ones they look, and plumbing depths unseen by the wardens there,
They behold equality possessed by all, a reality beyond the cliché drawl;
And behold a shiny privilege unbridled and most sure,
Whom everyone has no matter what (forget the list of endless traits that ever seems to grow!):
That the Magdalene within is forgiven by the Lord!
And all the while them business ones: the politicians and the Pharisees brawl –
Woe to them with mill stone weight! –
Along with all them tiny folk, led astray, who think the Messiah’s an idea;
Whilst many despair that the world’s going to hell in a basket,
As others deluded think that Utopia is here.
But St. Francis and his motley pack – friends of comely Wisdom –
Sees his brother in the trees and sister in the breeze, all calm and inwardly at ease;
Carrying all them blood stained Sultans upon their shoulders to higher shores –
Resting by the greenery that always conquers what man has made or caused,
For though a little patch beside them darkly factory mills:
“It’ll grow,” they say, confident as they watch the lamb.
“The world’s going to heaven in a basket.
Don’t you know?”