Faithless &  Godless – John Tansey 

Hopelessness is insidiousuntil,

 suddenly, like a revolution

Man admits to a Godlessness

and the ensuing schism divides his being; 

There is a rumbling at the border of your life, 

making midnight raids at the countryside.
The first casualties are the extremeties, 

the outer environs of your limbs…
Your possessions, your job and the children you clutch most.
So you close the castle gates, 

hold up in the tower, 
Discard, but your faith, to the hunger of the crowds, 

as advisors whisper over your shoulder
‘Give up your crown, your reign, 

your palace, even abdicate’
And in the strait shape of a white shift, 

without mistress and head shaven
You walk the steps to the Iron Maiden

and are stillborn into the next life! 

Exiled – John Tansey 


from my tribe; 

Outcast, ostracized

For defying the elders.

My spear, broken, 

Sling and skin gourd, taken.

Pelted with stones 

By those pockmarked with sin

Beaten beyond the mountains I have known

Down into the hinterlands, 

And the cold, wintry wild, alone

To be alone, even in death.

Without such security

As the clan and cave, 

I shiver in the cold, 

Get wet in the rain.

No more to be one of them.

I seek shelter on a patch of land, 

Under a thatch of sky

I must fend, now, for myself, 

A lone, lean wolf, scavenging
On the frozen Tundra, alone.