January 29, 2010

The Wisdom of Poppies

by M. P. Powers

If as Marx says religion is the opium
of the people, then it seems only natural
that the heartbeat of this latest war
of faiths
pumps out of mountain hollows
where fields of blood-red
poppies burgeon.

The provocateurs, however,
have not come here to reap the harvest
for opium.

They have reaped instead Scriptures
sewn by age-old saints,
themselves become the yield
of this spiritual
pay dirt,

their interpretations
furnishing them with hatred and guns
that bark of righteousness.

This then is
the lay of the land, the way mankind
marches forth in brutal
whose convictions never age.

This then is
Afghanistan in bloom, as earth churns
up new epochs
as the seasons pass by, fresh empires
wage floundering wars
for false

Only the poppies here remain
faithful to truth, prophesying as they
always have
eternal sleep
for all who come.


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