It Won't Work

(A Thought on our Times)

By Harold

We told You it would not work, Sir.
You'd said strange things that day--
That men should love one another,
Be pure,
That great men find greatness in serving;
That men find their life by its losing.
But, you see, you can't do that.
It won't work!

You did all right by Your people.
You healed the illness in their lives;
Restored the blindness in their eyes.
It was
But You've got to be more careful,
Or, obligated to you, they will turn
And hate You. You've got to take care.
It won't always work.

James and John, Zebedee's zealous sons
Would have made good commanders for you, Sir.
There's only one way to treat Samaritans.
Hate them,
Bring fire down,
Kill them!
We despise foreign half-breeds--
Mixed races, idol worshipers.
You should have let them do it, Sir.
That, would work.

You'd made a good start in the temple.
We liked that whip of knotted cords!
We know you meant business then, Sir.
We laughed to see them sprawling
Embarassed in their pride and stuffiness.
You should have set up your Kingdom then, Sir.
It's the only way.

Peter had the right idea that night, Sir.
There in Gethsemane's garden:
He knew what had to be done.
He was
Why did you have to undo it, Sir?
When his sharp sword flashed
Why did you heal the servant's ear?
It can't work.

You should have struck them blind, Sir.
There at the cross we felt for you.
It must have hurt--what they did.
Mocked You,
Laughed at You,
Pierced You.
And the greasy priest who slapped You.
You should have smeared his powdered face
With Leprosy. You can't just stand there!
It won't work!

But we're glad You're on our side now, Sir.
We know that might makes right.
And having You on our side
Makes us strong!
Makes us brave!
Makes us right!
We're glad we were born on this side, Sir.
That we're here. That they are there.
That a world's ocean lies between us.
That's the only way.

You've got to help us show them, Sir.
Those people over there.
Those Ruskies, Polloks, Czechs, and Niggers
And Chinks.
They're over there, we're over here--
Which makes us right, we know.
So humbly pray to You to help us
Show them!

You've told us how to kill, Sir.--It helps!
We'll tear their babies from them!
We'll butcher them, roast them, gas them,
Rip and
Tear and
Blast them!
If the enemy looks evil enough to us
We'll beat them to the draw! Yes,
We're glad that we're on the strong side.
That makes us right!

By the way, Sir, won't You please
Quit bothering us about The Bombs.
We're glad we've got them. (Very glad!)
The A Bomb,
The H Bomb,
The X Bomb.
The first Atom Bomb; the present Hell Bomb
The unlimited X Bomb yet to come.
Sir, we'll blow the world to bits if
It's necessary!

But, (You understand what we mean, Sir,
And no disrespect intended,)
You've got to let us do it right--
All evil-
Liquidate the mass of "Others"--
Those that are different from us.
We've got to make the world safe for us, Sir.
We'll make it work.

We've told You it would not work, Sir--
Those strange things You said that day.
That men should love one another
Be pure,
We've never tried it, of course, Sir.
But we certainly will not now!
Impractical imagining of a misguided Man.
It won't work!

This poem has been transcribed with permission from the author's wife. The author had Huntington's Disease and died in 1986.

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Last updated: Dec. 7, 2010