Tuesday, 2 September 2014


I see houses they once called palaces,
headquarters situated in every diocese,

a geographic delineation of theocratic
organisation that shuns the demographic

of county boundaries and tribal zones.
An international corporation owns

these residences where then (not now)
a man who lived with a celibate vow

ruled the beliefs and behaviour
of people in the name of the saviour.

He pronounced on matters of theology,
determined the latitudes of morality,

(one even contributed to a Constitution,
that still determines the nation’s jurisdiction),

tended to the sheep of his flock,
paraded in processions wearing a frock.

He struck the cheeks of children
who bent to kiss his red ring,

presided over matters of ecclesiastics,
governed his army of monastics.

He denied the truth like Judas,
betrayed his God and natural justice,

allowed boys and girls to be victims
of brutal clerical crimes.

He oversaw the rapes of altar boys,
the fondling of children like toys-

playthings of the collared paedophile,
who prayed and preyed all the while.

John Saunders

John’s first collection ‘After the Accident’ was published in 2010. His poems have appeared in many poetry journals in Ireland, The United Kingdom and America and in numerous online journals. His second collection Chance was published in April 2013 by New Binary Press.