Marvels & Miracles

The odds of my birth.

That single sperm cell, out of the initial millions of genetically diverse cells, is the one and the only that makes it into the egg.

SupermanChristAnd that this conceptional unlikelihood – the odds already so rare and outrageously far-fetched that even a gambler in despair would shun them – has been repeated in every generation of my lineage for thousands and thousands of years, each new generation multiplying the unlikelihood.

And then the impossibly complex myriad of circumstances, strokes of luck, synchronicities, close calls – unbroken from the beginning of time – that witnesses my father meeting my mother, my grandfathers meeting my grandmothers, great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers, generations and generations of arrangements, accidents, illicit trysts, seductions, violations, – back and back and back through time in a stupefyingly magnificent and improbable sequential river…

The odds of my birth seems so outrageously absurdly unlikely as to border on the miraculous.

But there’s nothing miraculous there.
There’s nothing in it that is unnatural, or beyond the scope of possibility.
It is truly a marvel… but it’s not a miracle.

I’ve never seen a miracle.
I’ve seen, and participated in, things and events that seem astonishingly unlikely but, nonetheless, possible.
But a miracle? No… no miracles.

Miracles are for the weak and the meek.
Unable to bear the cross of chaos they’ll line up to get a fix of ‘deus ex machina’, robbing the truly awe-inspiring courage and improbability of marvels and replacing them with the symmetrically sculpted supernatural action figure of miracles.

According to the story, Satan tempted Jesus with miracles but he refused.
But the authors of the story wrote them in nonetheless, burying the courageous bloody and enmired flesh of Jesus under the sleek, shiny and squeaky clean miracle of Christ, perpetuating a most awe-inspiring lie, an opiate for the pain of existential angst, for the cross of uncertainty, that generations and empires have been hooked on ever since.

Fascism & Utopia

a poem for extremists everywhere

Blacktop Mountaintop


Fascism is a hair’s breadth from Utopia.

Those who try to force funnel the hard grit gravity ground of everyday into Utopia,
to compel it across the great divide,
turn into extremists, slavemasters, witchhunters.
Naiively they set out to purify the strain, exorcise the demons, exterminate the wrong thinking, abolish the Mixolydians.
They wind up razing the terrain,
sterilising the DNA,
creating mutants and monsters,
which they,
and subsequent generations,
spend their lives chasing,
or running away from.

Pure seeds are so fragile.
Little trees planted in the scarification after the burn.
Acres upon acres,
hectares upon hectares,
kilometres upon kilometres of burn…
God the heat,
the scorching heat on the mountains of burn,
blacktop mountaintops as far as the eye can see.

Here we plant the little tree, the pure seed, the clean gene, the clear clean code,
and wait,
utterly simple single-minded, mono,
for the perfect shoot to grow.




* In my youth I spent summers planting trees.  One season I was in the mountains around Prince George, BC. The mountains had been completely clearcut and then razed by fire, an endeavor so grand in scale that it was, at the time, the only human project significantly visible from space. We planted only one species – one believed to be most profitable 60 years hence when it would be harvested –  to replace the grand diversity that had previously dwelt there for millenium, and returned home each day, head to toe, black in ashes.



“…glancing at their religion and politics the way a doctor would look at symptoms.”

Iain Banks, in ‘State of the Art’, describing how an enormously advanced species of extraterrestrials viewed human civilisation…

bomb shelter

Most of religion is dedicated to creating a bomb shelter and calling it hope.

Bomb Shelter goes song

Most of religion is dedicated to creating a bomb shelter and calling it hope.
I’m gonna build me a bomb shelter and call it hope,
I’m gonna fix me a faith ’cause I need my dope,
I’m gonna climb right in when I’m at the end of my rope,
’cause I don’t want to fall
’cause I don’t want to fall
’cause I don’t want to fall…

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Attitudes to Faiths

Faith based descriptions of reality, on their own, hold little water.
They vary, but are equally implausible.
Trust the honesty with which a person holds a faith; their attitude to and through it.

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Shooting the Saint

I’m shooting down the saint
I’m losing his skin,
breaking free of that straightjacket,
that idol, that sin.

I’m getting darker,
listening to my soul,
getting dangerous,
getting whole.
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Depart from Infallibility

Note on Infallibility during MA Theology, 1993

To depart from infallibility, from the secure circle, feels like death. The valley of death. But this, more than anything else, is scriptural, because this death is exemplified by Jesus’ death, which led to resurrection, and it is in this that we’re to trust.

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