Temples by Andrena Zawinski

...oh God of mercy, oh wild God 
—from Gerald Stern’s “The Dancing”

Holy temple in the Sinai fallen,
Sacred Mosque in Mosul desecrated,
pagan temples of Alexandria downed,
Hindu temples leveled by fire,
Buddhist statues destroyed,
Guyana temple poisoned.
One more racial warrior 
heeds coded whistle calls 
from the storm front 
in the White House
from the language of fear.  
One more fist flung high, 
visions of flags flaunted 
before burning crosses.
Temple of the Tree of Life,
a massacre of the reverent.
Temples lost, invaded, defiled
in the sloganry of paint and human blood.
Temples poisoned by hate, and then
one more, one more, one more—
Oh, God. Oh wild God 
have mercy.

Andrena Zawinski was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Her third and most recently released full poetry collection is Landings (Kelsay Books 2017). Her poems have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Progressive Magazine, Nimrod, Rattle, and others. She is features editor at PoetryMagazine.com and founded and runs the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon.

return to sampler            return to poetry             home