jesus on the cross

On a skull hill
Overlooking a sleepy town
There was a man who was evicted. 
He was whipped, clothes ripped apart
Humiliated in front of throngs,
Paraded with two cut throat thieves,
And hung on a cross of timber.
And today, he is still found on a million crosses,
On bed stands, between clavicles,
On the tip of rosaries.

And this man, a fisherman,
Who everyday sat on a beach,
And looked at leftover seashells
The exoskeletons of a once was mollusk,
Now littering and yet carving
A place among the silica crystals.
And that was his legacy, a shell, an exoskeleton,
So different from the rest, so beautiful in design,
In conchology; the lines, the colors
The feel, all telling the onlooker,
That the most precious part of life,
Is found in what doesn’t turn to ash.

And the Jesus mollusk
In one Judas’s kiss, transformed
To be the hunted, clawed with nails,
Wiped out from history. And this near-naked
Man’s echo, even today, proliferates through,
The enclosure of a shell, the dome he built
To house his legacy, where millions
Gather to celebrate the son of man,
Who was long before death,
A son of the ocean.

And that abalone shell lives
As Jesus’s chopped ear,
As the perfect example of how,
To forgive and forget. And that auriform whorl
Now looks down on us, as one of many
Church domes, housing his solitary echo,
Of being the anomaly in the sands,
The glitter bearer, who went down in pages of history,
To become an amulet on a cross,
Remembered through time,
As abalone flesh on tongues.

The Pharisees


Downtown, there are young men
Looking out of the pear-lens
To see the apple of the eye. 
And that pear, that stretches
Every dimension of humanness
Ensures the falling of throngs
To the trendy all-purpose lifestyle of sin.

And we are told today, that while
Pre-marital sex and lying are redundant
Humility and confessionals are the cornerstones
Of a catholic faith that is increasingly
Acquiescent, not caring about that piece of literature
Called the disposable bible.

And while religion dilutes out
There is still the fate of those who accused Mary Magdalene
And nailed Jesus on the cross,
That still look at that ripened apple
With salivating senses.

Oh how blinding can apple orchards be….
For those plucking the religion apple swarming with worms.

Fools in Faith


Faith is a conduit between two parties
And prayer the pidgin, the lingua franca.
It is the conjecture of fluke
Made more mathematically favorable
When laid bare by soul.

And prayer, is calling for a higher power
While badass is a cry to be the central attraction.
And the only difference between a pew in a church
And the ring of a circus is, while prayers are mocked
As anthems of schizophrenics that hear the voice of god
Clowns do handstands to rush
Some much-needed blood to the brain.

Reality says we are all made to look like fools in this world.
Disenchantment is the noose that makes
The foolish sane; And tighter the noose is,
Man will start to imitate others, follow de-facto rules
And rebel to be custodians of peer-acclaim
When it is popularity that is a brainwashed psychosis
That hears ovations inside brains.

And where as some see faith as folly
Others see it as emancipation. Faith is far from foolish.
It is the implicit clarity that far is nearer than one thinks
Or the weight is lighter than the scales point to

And all the while, the clown will make noises
In front of a hall filled with rebels, challenging
The mainstays of tradition; forgetting that tradition
Is a port of embarkation, an asphalt carpet to journeys
Concrete to civilizations and a most merciful love
To the orthodoxy of credence.

And that expanse that empties mental spaces
Is only a borrowing of prayer. And schizophrenics call faith
A lifestyle choice in immanent existentialism.



I look at myself in the mirror, clad in loin cloth
What we call underwear, and I see a large bronze man

Who wants a little less fat and a little more bat in a perfect world.
I’m not perfect. For once, I don’t wear my undies on the outside

I’m not a super hero nor am I villain. I’m a poet
Who clothes his crotch with a little loin cloth

And gives imagination to the third eye and a beholder called bibliophile
One who pokes around for a little peak

And beauty is in the undies I wear, on the out of a little corpse
An aphorism that short is sweet. Like a little poem

That is hung from paper, and swells a good distance
To become a magic stick. And magic is in

How magnified the words are from the loin cloth to the heart.
When empires leave behind ruins that become

Tourist attractions in memoriam. And poems are only strategically placed
Words, hiding a little pink flower on a peduncle, her soul

And those poems called briefs are the launching
Pads of beauty, unclothed of their immaculate brevity.

Leaves of the fig tree will one fated day find their shade
Under canopies of Laurels. And my loin clothes will hang

On walls of parchment to be worshipped like crucifixes.
Resurrection is my prerogative, religion will be my legacy.

Little White Church


From an amphitheater
Of one martyr to a ghost town
Where the fragrance of souls
And stubs of candles still hover
Like alien space crafts
UFOs – Unidentified Flying Objects

Seemingly there is no glory in church
In a rundown colonial edifice
Cracks emerging like in the bastion of faith
Plastered by story-telling
Visibly this too is a parable
That what is unscientific and unempirical
Is short of gasoline or jet fuel
Which nevertheless exists
In stellar places and galactic clouds

Faith is like that….
Its bigger than you and me
And that little white church,
And when the conscience expands
Exponentially and bursts
With no prejudice or motive
That is where faith can be found

And that bed of fecund soil
Is where the big white church
Will always be……

Christianity and Science – The Perennial Paradox

Pope Francis

We live in the world where science is strongly incompatible with Christianity, where eminent biology scholars ride on biological phenomena such as evolution to bulldoze the cathedral of Christianity. Christianity, the kind that believes in the impossible and forgives the possible, is now, just like Mary Magdalene, facing a barrage of stones at the hands of God-haters. In particular, the Christian scientists face an avalanche of rhetoric from Darwin’s canines who accuse any scientist believing in Christianity as an infidel to a scientist’s trade and a traitor to empiricism. I am trying to counter that argument not by throwing stones at the critics of Christianity but having an open discussion on why Christianity and Science should co-exist even symbiose together.

Adultery is an unpardonable crime in science and so infidelity of scientists who chase prostitutes that come in the form of religious icons, for an intercourse of faith, is deemed a paramount sin against the juggernaut of science. Science and Christanity are far from compatible and these are some of the founding reasons that science venomously attacks the cornerstone of Christianity.

Christianity is founded on the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus where Christmas and Easter, the two yearly dates that Christians all over the world celebrate the foundation of Christianity, are plagued by the relics of myth, where the birth of Christ is termed to be an event of immaculate conception (with no contribution from mortal semen) and his death was glorified by the resurrection or the reincarnation of this holy man. Therefore, two phenomena, immaculate conception and rising from the dead, pollute Christianity by the absence of a scientific base to support these mystical and esoteric events. Therefore it would be interesting to see if either or both these phenomena exist in extant biology.

The first, immaculate conception is a notorious truth in botany and can also be found abundantly in zoology. In botany, there is a biological phenomenon called ‘apomixis’ which engenders the growth of an embryo, without the participatory donation of the pollen nucleus. In simple terms, apomixes can create a new plant from asexual reproduction in the absence of fertilization and this biological trick involves the development of a new life form from an unfertilized egg or even a cell from the surrounding tissue. Simply, botany doesn’t require Joseph’s pollen just Mary’s egg would do.

In zoology too, in some species of fish, amphibians and reptiles in particular, there are events where a new life form develops from an unfertilized egg in a phenomenon called parthenogenesis. However, parthenogenesis has not been demonstrated in human this far although myths have existed that have fueled speculation and mystery. In the small screen, even Dr Gregory House, the notorious venom spitting, drug-injecting, motor-bike riding and opinionated doctor delivers the first child of an immaculately conceived virgin mother. So who says far-fetched stories only exist in Christianity? It too exists in contemporary dramas unfolding in the television screen.

Now to rising from the dead, a hackneyed phenomenon that is the center of many religions, as whether its reincarnation, samsara or avatars, there is that sense of passage from one life form to another. The questions are posed here; can humans rise from the Dead? is Larzarus a fact and not a myth?…. Well, to this date, there are no factual cases to demonstrate that rising from the dead exists in botany, zoology and human biology but it should be remembered that animals live for long periods in hibernation, bacterial spores live for decades only to come back to life and flourish in the broader scheme of biology and even human who have lived in a vegetative state for years in a coma, have come back to thrive in hospitable environments of life.

There are even questions in Jesus’s life that can be explained by biology. Just like Jesus walked on water, there is a lizard in South America that can glide on water named deservedly as the Jesus Christ lizard. Therefore it appears that religion is not so far-fetched after all, it is merely a soft exaggeration of biology.

It should be remembered here that no pope can even change the evolution of science and equivalently no gods of science can change the bastion of faith. They may be up at arms with each other, but it is time to cultivate a deep sense of respect for the other. For at the end, a moderate scientist and a moderate Christian can coexist easily. It is only the polarized fanatics that bring forth stinging rhetoric for personal limelight. Science and religion at the end are colonies of the human temple. The difference is that one questions and the other believes.

A Note About Catholicism


Being a catholic in this day and age can be a tricky thing, especially when you are a warm blooded male, as I’ve read many a time on many catholic fora, after all, it is said that the man armed with testosterone, is unable to keep his ammunition inside his pants. This is conditional Catholicism, that frowns upon celibacy and venerates sex to the point of over-glorification, contemporary to the widespread belief that man (and to a lesser extent, the woman) are sexual players and predators during their summer and only when they have practiced their suave and svelte moves on the opposite gender do they finally surrender to one being for the rest of their lives. This is both the mantra and the motto of an adult, catholic or otherwise. Catholics too fall under the same umbrella, after all, very few 18-40 age group lay men and women who go to church, practice celibacy as a mainstream way of living.

For me, being a catholic, means that sexual discipline is an important endeavor in life. Sexual discipline is intimately linked to the true romantic in me, who believes that only when love bangs you at the door knob, would you open your door to sexual activity and being catholic ensured that love was never enough and that marriage would be the only sacrament worthy of sex, in my “in other ways” fulfilled life. After all, by the age of 30, I had almost completed a PhD, had many a friend from many eras of life, had practiced my wanderlust in the new and the old world and had many prospectively beautiful women, who could have easily fallen for me, if I had presented the right words, in the right sequence, at the right minute. I was complete in more ways than one, and I had an almighty god who looked upon me in grace and helped me along, not necessarily answering all my prayers (if so I would have been married to a lass fluent in French) but giving me enough compensation for the negatives that I have endured in life.

Being catholic meant I also had to be charitable in my unfolding life. Although I was no charity worker, I had a soft spot for some areas of charity, namely chastity and mental health, two areas of importance to me. I have been charitable monetarily during my time in Australia and the Philippines, funding the construction of a school in the Philippines (a project that was brought to my attention by a tall catholic girl) and I had sent some money to appeals from the Bam Earthquake, Nargis Cyclone and a similar typhoon that devastated the Philippines. Although these are mere breadcrumbs to what charity workers and priests and nuns do, I was doing this while pursuing a Ph.D. and working for the development of food security, which were equally important goals in my career. So, I had only been charitable in sporadic bouts and not being consistent in my donor power, after all, there would have been more events that needed my attention and I would have turned a blind eye to them. Still charity is an important element and a mainstay in Catholicism for any practitioner.

I strongly believe in the power of catholic living, and setting an example by our actions and not by our words. Teaching is a vocation that I believe can have a lot of positive impact on a student’s life and now as a lecturer in university, I am doing my level best to blaze the flame of learning inside each and every student and inspire them for their future lives. I am very much discouraged to hear sermons who base the catholic faith on forgiveness – although divine and beautiful, softening the basis of forgiveness diminishes the magnitude of sin and contrarily makes the righteous, a prude or like the elder brother of the prodigal son. Grace is a beautiful deed, but grace when given freely and abundantly, makes the sinner more at ease with his or her lifestyle choices. This divides the church, the holy and the unholy, the traditional and the liberal, the deep-rooted and the progressive, after all it is sin and forgiveness that divides the catholic church more than same-sex marriages, the celibacy of priests, the patriarchy etc. After all, some people do not want to sin and others are of the opinion that sinning is human imperfection that can coalesce with absolution, in the hands of god. Yes, god is forgiving, but not for repeated offenders in the absence of true penance.

The next dimension is the overly female-friendliness of the catholic church. More and more men are staying away from the church due to the child-sex scandals that have rocked the catholic churches especially in Ireland and parts of the USA. Men are now staying away and most of the roles in the catholic churches are filled with females due to the uneasiness of males to walk in to church due to the legacies of a few “bad apples” among the clergy. Until recently I have stayed on with the church, although since I married an atheist, I have chosen to stay away and only go to church sporadically to reinforce my belief to god and my commitment to the church. The church may be a hen house but there is obviously room for some combs in there, to ruffle some feathers and maybe even make an unholy match.

I remember talking to a priest at the seminary and telling him how I would love to open up priesthood for females and giving priests the opportunity for the sacrament of marriage if that is their calling, on an option basis. These sort of issues will divide the church even more and although merely a conversation, I still believe that some reform is needed for the church to be more applicable in the 21st century and further. Still, the foundationary basis of the catholic church – charity, fellowship, marriage, humility, discipline and love, should not be ignored at whatever cost. After all, these are the cornerstones and the hallmarks of Catholicism.

There’s a poem by T.S. Eliot which calls the Church a Hippopotamus, an ugly creature that is becoming less and less significant in time. Yes, the church is big, has that water hole attitude – after all without the congregation there is no church, plus, wine is at the center of all celebrations – and it is after all a water hog, who will eat anything that the times throw in. This should not be the ethos of the church. The church is the spiritual lighthouse that guides the catholic soul away from tempests of sin to the arms of goodness and benevolence. There are timely actions which are needed – like making amends for all the scandals – but the church should always be rooted to the traditions of Jesus, who showed us the power of inclusiveness and the beauty of charity. Hippopotamus means “water horse”, and the church too is a horse that will run its course to time, where the only membership requirement is being a human being, to be given a baptism of water and entry to her sacraments. The church has always been inclusive, and will continue do so. Hippos may have reduced in number with time, but they are far from extinction.

God is like Prometheus, who brought fire to this world and gave it to mankind, and asked them to use it practically yet with freewill. That fire – the source of warm-bloodedness – will always be the basis of the paradox living inside a catholic – the war inside and the peace above.