Thursday, March 18, 2010


Crusader, how will you absolve your sin?
By petty mastery of field and soil
or buckling on your carapace of tin,
and forsaking your muddy patch of  toil?

So bemused by the glory of your Christ,
this Latin book that only priests can read
will drain your wealth and to Hell's shores entice
your ragged band where Christ won't intercede.

Warrior, why do you defend this cross?
Do you wish to hang beside your Saviour
and wear a crown of thorns to mourn the loss
of peace or gain some indulgent favour?

This red device emblazoned on you shirt,
inflames the hearts and minds of your company
but won't protect you from the desert dirt
or showers of arrows from the enemy.

Why did your millennial Messiah
fail to come on time, with his burning sword,
to slay the usurious  pariah
who bought your accoutrements with his blood?

After plotting with Frankish Godfrey's men
in the Rhineland you plundered for supplies,
trotted off to Constantinople, then
fought with the Seljuk under Muslim skies.

In triumph you rode to Jerusalem,
knowing your Christian army would prevail
and there did God's gory work, his emblem
flying from the walls marked the bloody tale.

And now, in the second millennium,
you sleep under the stars and crescent moon,
breathing in depleted uranium,
the deadly dust sown by last year's platoon.

Your crusade is financed by usury
and serves the Masters of Jerusalem
pulling strings in the US Treasury,
jerking the Pentagon's fatigued golem.

Crusader, how will you absolve your sin?
The tortured rebel and the murdered child
cry out for vengeance from the pain within
and weep in torment for a world defiled.

So bemused by the glory of your flag,
this doctrine of hatred on which you feed
will drain your health and put you in a bag
or win a medal for some evil deed.

Warrior, don't you know this war is lost?
Do you wish to hang down your head in shame
when those cheering crowds welcome home your host
remembering what was done in their name?

This proud device emblazoned on you caps,
reminds the comrades in your company
of those past glories told behind tent flaps,
whose martial deeds were mixed with infamy.

Why did your statesmen send you off to war
but fail to tell you of their lying creed,
a sacrifice for their profit's altar
in Mammon's name of unrestricted greed?

Now rotting in a veteran's hospital
Working that new prosthesis on your arm,
you won't be trotting off with generals
to save your enemies or do them harm.

In triumph you rode out to Muslim lands
knowing your righteous army would prevail
but now your deeds are buried in the sands,
with dead crusader's cross and iron mail.

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