APRIL 2004

'Faux Geste'
(on Dick Cheney's gift to Pope John Paul)
by Ian Reed

Over the head of Christ, at baptism,
The dove hovered, pledge of the Holy Ghost.
"This is my son, in whom I am well pleased"
Declared the voice of God in loving boast,[1]

Much as, at Genesis, God's Spirit soared
Above the surface of the waters[2]
Before Adam foresaw, by Michael's teaching,
Atrocities to come and casual slaughters.[3]

The gentle bird by Noah too was sent
To find dry land after the floods' surcease,[4]
And ever since these signs were given us,
This pigeon has portrayed the pledge of peace.

A word, that on the lips of Cheney, Dick
Was uttered recently in Rome, when he
Presented to the pontiff in his palace
A crystal dove to seal their amity.[5]

Mixing religion with his politics,
The dastard[6] deputy seemed not to dread
That like the statues stained in city streets,
The consequence could come back on his head.

A cunning cardinal might have observed
Posterity should find the act absurd:
A dove will eat the eagle for its breakfast
And better off to give false Dick the bird.[7]

* * * * * * *

[1]      Luke 3:21-22

[2]      Genesis 1:2

[3]      See 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton, Book XI, 356-

[4]      Genesis 8:8-11

[5]      See William Shakespeare, 'Hamlet', V.ii.44-45

[6]      Defined as "a contemptible sneaking coward" (Collins English Dictionary).

[7]      Defined in this context as "an obscene gesture of contempt made by pointing the middle finger upward while keeping the other fingers down" (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).

Copyright Ian Reed January 27, 2004; (212) 841-0341

'Poetic Injustice' - a collection of poems about
the invasion of Iraq - is at