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This poem is taken from PN Review 114, Volume 23 Number 4, March - April 1997.

Four Poems Alistair Elliot


At the Religious Festival

Now a believer in his Holy Book
Shows me all knowledge: there, the Word of God
Explains a baby as a 'clot of blood'
That mixes with a seed when parents - Oh,
What was the word they used? The embryo,
He blathered on, starts growing - while I stood
Wondering what to say.
                 For faith is good,
A comfort and a priceless piece of luck -
But no-one should accept an old mistake.

Could God be wrong? or let his prophet hear
An untrue Word? The Book was meant to slake
Our thirst for truth - did God dilute the cup?

I made no comment, but that night I fear
...


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