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Stephanie Spiers
Golden Dome

Debris lies smoking. Its rubble shames.
Condemning provocateurs
of un-civil war.
Battered memorial to a revengeful God,
 Shrieks as its
golden onion dome
lies shattered,
bleeding outrage into the sand.
A thousand years of belief sacrificed,
for the prize of hearts and minds.
Power manipulated
by undoubted unbelievers.
exchange one, for another.
 Internal power struggle,
for much more than resources.
Blind faith:
a richer reward than oil.
‘We don’t understand
how they think,’ say Western politicians.
They’re right. They don’t.
Too soon forgotten,
Europeans  too once carried prayers
on chains round their waists.
On stone flags prayed
five times a day,
and sold daughters
into the slavery of dowry.
Lives, held tight in the
power of religious oppression.
While Bishops grew fat
in their blood red and ermine.
Safe in tithed-wrung splendour.
Recall the Inquisition,
the witch-hunt, the rack.
Beckett, Henry Tudor, Luther.
A thousand years of
exploitation and bigotry.

A millennium. A long time
to throw off the strangling
grip of ring kissed
dogma, intolerance and prejudice.
Pity not bombed out
golden domes.
Pity more all the planet’s
uneducated, oppressed,
down on their faces,
cowed by ignorance into supplication.




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