Poetry: The Book of my Enemy — Jesus in Nigeria | clivejames.com
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Jesus in Nigeria

Let him so keen for casting the first stone
Direct a fast ball right between her eyes,
So it might be from one quick burst of bone,
Not from a mass of bruises, that she dies.

I’m pleased to see, of all you without sin,
The cocky dimwit is so young and strong
Who won the draw to let the games begin.
He looks the type, unless I’m very wrong,

Who’ll hog the glory with his opening shot.
With any luck at least he’ll knock her out.
His rivals in this miserable lot
Are hard-pressed to jump up and down and shout.

That old one there has just put out his back
Lifting a boulder he could barely throw
For half a yard without a heart attack,
But you can bet, just to be in the show,

He’d shuffle up and drop it on her head.
I hate to take my father’s name in vain
But God almighty, how they want her dead:
How sure they are that she should die in pain.

The woman taken in adultery:
It’s one of the best stories in my book.
Some scholars call it the essential me.
If my writ ran here, you could take a look.

Alas, it doesn’t. I wield little power
Even with my bunch, let alone with yours.
Long, long ago I had my public hour.
My mission failed. The maniacs and bores

Took over. I still weep, but weep in fear
Over a world become so pitiless
I miss that blessed soldier with the spear
Who put an early end to my distress.

Merely a thug and not a mental case,
He showed the only mercy I recall.
A dumb but reasonably decent face:
The best that we can hope for, all in all.

Step up, young man. Take aim and don’t think twice.
No matter what you both believe is true,
Tonight she will be with me in Paradise.
I’m sorry I can’t say the same for you.