Swans Commentary » swans.com February 14, 2005  



The Sacred And The Profane


by Gerard Donnelly Smith






Upon the statues, upon the temple walls
Applied to invoke the goddess, but
Not for all is this lunar cycle blessed:
For some the fall from grace
Has been embodied in her discharge;
For some believe that evil smells
This blood then comes to occupy the heart;
For some its presence upon the skin
Will disconnect them from their god.

Yet knowing that just one drop
Would torture him eternally
You, oh Harlot of the Hegemon,
Smeared menstrual blood upon his face,
And proclaiming the blood was mere blood,
An interrogator's prerogative,
sought to justify the action for a greater good.

Touching him upon the face,
upon the genitals where only his wife
might touch him without shame,
You, oh Harlot of the Hegemon,
Sought to make him speak against his conscience,
Speak against the faith that gave him hope
Through the long years of isolation,
Of separation from his family.

In the cages of Guantánamo, no different
Than the dungeons of the Inquisition,
They wait for the War on Terror to end,
Wait for their own terror to end,
Pray for liberation and freedom,
So that they may wash the blood
From their souls and stand before Allah,
Spotlessly within their law, defiant
Against your profane actions.

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Internal Resources

Poetry on Swans


About the Author

Gerard Donnelly Smith on Swans (with bio).



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This Edition's Internal Links

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Blips #12 - From the Editor's desk

Letters to the Editor

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URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art11/gsmith40.html
Published February 14, 2005