Joshua Meander




Pagan Mass



Swaying in these here aisles

I may spur on a Pagan Mass.                                              


No time for singing praises                                              

To jewel-bedecked icons:                                                

Within leaves of murky trees

Minstrels swing unfailingly;

Music for a naked dance

Resounds amidst a rainstorm.


Arise to spirituals!


Can you feel Venus?

No fooling now.

Can you feel Venus?


[ Men shout }

“Sure can,  and how!”


Tell me,  are you on firm ground?

No fooling now.

Tell me,  are you on firm ground?


{ Women shout }

“Sure makes me yowl!”


You’re next to a faithful man.


Toss a wreath to a friend.

He’ll catch a tambourine,

Rejoicing like a fountain

As his struggle with hardship

Explodes in peals of sweat.


Agony of repression

A  phase of overcoming

Divided community.

Let us commune and worship

In storefronts of the downcast.

None but charlatans dispute

The joyous revelries that

Mark the people’s sweet revolt.


My tears are scorching,  folks.

Can I have a witness?

{ One voice }

“I’ll testify.”


Echo amen,  folks.




Joshua Meander © 2009

Cry, Baby                                                                  



Through the walls of the apartment

Next door, a newborn baby’s crying,

Brassy as a hurricane,                                            

Screaming octaves as potent

As Hasidim weeping earnestly.

Cry on,  baby.  The world is scary.

Wail like a jazz trumpeter

In his attempt to wake the

Sleeping prophet in us all.

The real coming attractions

Are lurid enough to make pimps sob.


Caption after caption, the handgun

Is glorified to ghetto

Youth like a grand aphrodisiac

To boost their manhood tenfold.


Frame after frame, and the genocide

Flips onward to bleed another group:

Orders droned by atonal minds

New cast members for brutal sequels.


Jailed Republicans on the airwaves

Goad on rejects toting cheap flags.


Packages received in sweaty palms:

Mail bombs have replaced angry letters.


May the sound of this crying baby

Seep through the rafters and preach

To the world its S.O.S.




Joshua Meander © 2009