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 Luxembourg, 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 advertisements


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 palatial 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 renaissance 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 gratitude

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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