Quoting Scripture: a Snake Poem – Wilda Morris

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek. . . .
Antonio in The Merchant of Venice

Study history and see the way partisans
associate rivals with the devil and themselves
always with the divine. They can proclaim the rightness
and justice of their cause. They cite Washington,
Jefferson, Lincoln, and even Scripture to prove
they are the ones chosen by God for leadership.
Do you that believe God chooses his (or her) emissaries
on earth according to his purpose or how often they quote
verses from the Bible? An angry, unforgiving person,
one who is filled with evil intent may rail against anyone
who disagrees. Is his soul pure, I ask,
if his words are producing discord and
hate instead of holy love, respect and peace?
When you witness the harvest of the seeds he sows,
ask yourself, Is he an example of the devil
speaking, like Joseph Goebbels quoting the Sermon on
the Mount, a passage put to the purpose of genocide
by a vile villain if there ever was one—
a Fascist with Hitler’s ear, the sidekick to a tyrant,
Goebbels a man who used the Christian faith as a weapon,
a smiling strategist, killing his compatriots, a man of unholy
cheek. Shakespeare was certainly right.

Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair of Poets and Patrons of Chicago and a past President of the Illinois State Poetry Society, has published numerous poems in anthologies, webzines, and print publications. She has published two books of poetry, Szechwan Shrimp and Fortune Cookies: Poems from a Chinese Restaurant (RWG Press) and Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick (Kelsay Books). Her current projects are a book of poems riffing off science facts and theories, and a collection of poems playing with Shakespeare’s words. Wilda’s grandchildren say she lives in a library. Her poetry blog at wildamorris.blogspot.com features a monthly poetry contest.

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