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Letter To Jesus (possible song lyrics)

Letter To Jesus
Suffer little children come unto Me, You said,
But I look around and see little children suffering instead;
Where are You, Jesus when these innocent ones
Are being ripped apart by the screaming guns
Of the warrior screaming out Your name as he raves?
Is that You weeping silently beside their graves?

Do You comfort the little boy crying in pain
Who will probably never walk again?
Are You in the room with the little girl on the gurney
Staring with misty-eyes at the gaping hole where her chin should be?
Where are You, Jesus – Can't You hear their screams
As the bombs rain down and the last twilight gleams?

Up in the clouds, God's in His heaven sitting on the can
And all night long, down on the ground, His shit hit the fan:
Tell me, tell me – Wherefore is Your Son, oh Lord of Hosts?
Where is Your Son when the politician boasts
Of the fine job his army's doing in a distant land;
Is He there with the Desert Rats toiling in the sand?

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild sits on God's Right Hand,
But on the other side, where the generals stand
The generals and their pet politicians no longer join in the fray
Sitting far behind the lines where they manage to stay
Safely away keeping their propaganda machine well-oiled
With the ancient lie that Our Common Enemy's been foiled.

We want Peace in our time now!
And we don't care how
So long as you stop the killing
Of all the people whose blood you're spilling
With your endless bloody war,
Because we don't want it anymore!

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Last few words: 
Mostly curious to know if it affects people the way I want it to.
Editing stage: 


I am sorry that both of your poems posted here have gone unread. Allow me to fix that, slightly! I have read the poem, and I see your last few words state that you would like to know how this affects readers. I would like to know what you were expecting the effect to be, so I can make my comment useful to you. Please keep in mind that I am not a Christian, but I was raised as one, so that has affected my reaction to the poem, but I will still be diligent in being unbiased in my feedback.

Take care,

Critique, don't comment.
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I guess I want people to feel as frustrated and horrified by war and its effects (especially on children) as I feel. I also, as an ex-Christian who still thinks that the teachings of of Jesus Christ were meritorious, am angered and disgusted by the behaviour and attitudes of many so-called Christians who seem to think war is just fine. (I live next door to America, so hear an awful lot of bullshit from conservative, fundamentalist Christians that strikes me as indicating more a worship of Satan than of the teachings of Christ.)

author comment

You address the fact that if there is any sort of deity it is an impotent, non-interventionist one in the first three lines then just labour the point.

War is bad, hmm, ok? As Mr Mackey might say. Yes we all already knew that.

This might have gone down well with a folksy tune at a sixties peace rally. Today I find it strangely un-affective, not really addressing anything even vaguely new either thematically, politically, philosophically or metaphysically.

Very well written. Here is my interpretation, Aussie accent and all.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

Perhaps you're right. However, it seems to me, given what is happening in places like Syria, Iraq, Sudan and other places, that we have learned nothing from our experiences with war. Back in the early 90s, it seemed like we had finally learned to put War behind us as a way to solve our problems, since peace just seemed to be breaking out all over the world. Age old conflicts (such as the sectarian violence in Ulster, the war in Indonesia, the Iraq/Iran War, the civil war in Congo, the Cold War that dominated the lives of my entire generation from birth until it ended, even the conflict between Israel and the PLO) all seemed to be ending. And then we went right back to settling disputes with war, as Yugoslavia erupted into a stupid war, Ruanda erupted into war, Netenyahoo and Charon managed to derail peace talks with the PLO (thereby discrediting the PLO and ensuring Hamas and the Hezbollah would end up dominating the Palestinian side of the conflict). I have long been a student of the First World War and the horrors of what went on in that tragic time. I find I cannot read about what happens to children in these conflicts, especially after a bombing run by fighter planes, without getting upset by it. Perhaps I am just to sensitive, but when I read about a little girl whose had half her face torn off by shrapnel from a missile launched form a fighter jet, I fell like there is no hope for our species. And so, I take out my anger, frustration, sorrow and despair in the only way I can do so without going berserk.

author comment

I just kind of realised that you had posted a link to yourself reading the poem. (Apologies for my lack of computer savvy!) Anyway, seems to me you read it pretty much as I intended it to sound, though perhaps with less despair and more weary resignation. I do have to say, however, that I expected someone with a name like Jess to sound a bit differently to what your voice sounded like!

author comment

Usually the pieces about Jesus and other religious themes either with faith, or against faith, rarely have a good reception.
Can we see some of your religiously neutral works.
Jess and Kelsey have both seen fit to comment on this piece, and I note that Jess has commented on your piece from yesterday, that's good going, so please hear what they say, then we can all benefit from your wide range of knowledge.
Some of the pieces from yesterday will be good to stream as a single poem..
Take care and know we are here to teach and also to learn..
Yours, Ian.T

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

Most of my poetry (and song lyrics) is not concerned (or so I like to think) with religious themes. However, since I am a seeker (a former Christian, become atheist, now agnostic), I suspect that this theme tends to creep into my ramblings whether I want it to or not! I recently finished final (I hope!) editing the first epic (rhymed and metered, but worded and phrased to read like prose) in what I hope will be a cycle of epics set in the not-too-far-off-we-can't-see-it-coming Future. It took almost two years to write it; about 8 months to make a prose version of it, and another four or five months to edit both versions to make sure they are still word-for-word identical and of course, get them to where I wanted them. During this time, I wrote hardly any other poetical thing. (Writing three to as many as 13 14 line, metered, rhymed stanzas per day kind of spoiled me for writing any thing else during this time.) I have since then been making up for lost time (before I begin writing the next epic) and have banged off quite a few poems, including my first Anacreontic Poem. I will post one or more of these, making sure it has as little religious content as possible! Hope you like it. Just gotta figure out which one to post (a structured or an unstructured poem; political, apolitical, something a bit silly and whimsical – what would you fancy?)

author comment

Good to have your reply.
We have the odd workshop on Epics it is hard to run and they seem to fade away.
I have a few written but they are just sitting here.
We will see if a workshop opens for them.
There was a workshop that was a group of us wrote in tur n and made a good Epic but we will have to see what we can do maybe you would like to offer??,
Yours as always Ian..

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

I need to read a poem a few times before I feel competent to comment on it, and even then, sometimes I just can't think of anything to say, beyond, "nice poem!" which probably isn't helpful. Also, I'm working weekends and a few weekdays and on my feet all day (which for me has become painful, especially since I have to wear workshoes/boots which aggravates the problems in my feet and ankles) so I frequently come home in too much pain to want to do much more than have my tea and go to bed.) And sometimes, there are so many new poems on here, I just can't seem to keep up! I am trying though to read and offer useful critiques when I can. I read a whole whack of new ones today, after supper, and hopefully, if they haven't disappeared by Tuesday, I will read them again, though I also have a meeting with the caseworkers and medical people about my Mum (who recently moved into a care home after having had a stroke).

author comment

I have to say, epic workshop almost sounds like it should be pronounced, "Epic Workshop!" post workshop, of course. The idea of running a workshop on epic writing intrigues me, though I have so far only written one full-length epic (which was intended to be merely the first in a cycle of related epics) and a short "epic". (If a full length epic is like a novel, then I would suggest that the short one is akin to a short story.) I have also written an 1100 page non-epic free verse poem that was an attempt to write a history covering the period between 1987 and 2001. Am I competent to conduct such a workshop? I don't know yet, but I would be willing to give it a go, time and certain annoying health issues and other things going on in my life permitting.

author comment

I guess I am just feeling really grateful that people have taken the trouble to read my song lyrics and comment on them. Ta, muchly!

author comment

Reality of where the God has not been apparent..
Terror of War

I cried I screamed
I could not think,
or dream
of normal things

That you out there,
hold not so dear.
Faces crawling with scum,
then holes
Holes in bodies,
it had just begun.

A redness flows
through matted hair
It grabs at the dust
that is gathered there.

It’s dragging the dust
of my friend this way
A crazy paving
of red streaked clay.

My friend, my friend,
you cannot not wait
A flickering smile,
flaunting your state.

Your peaceful look
that holds no hate.
You are slipping away
from me.

Maybe you know
what lies beyond
For you at the end
of this day.

I have only to wait,
sit, and pray
That your smile
is no lie.

That I could
if only I…..

At this point the second child is no more, and wanted to know if there was another part to the journey.
The children I know would tell, if you ask..
Yours Ian..

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

Yes, I kind of gathered that something happened to silence the narrator at the very last instant. Poignant and moving, I think it captures the essence of war and what it does to children better than what I wrote, because you use the voice of one child talking to and perhaps consoling another who has been killed or injured by what is going on. This makes it so much more immediate and personal.

author comment

I kind of stuck the chorus on the end because that's normally where they get stuck, with the idea that the chorus is supposed to be sung (or read) after each stanza if the poem is meant to be treated this way. In this case, the chorus is more like that of a Greek Play – a commentary on the action, so yeah, you are probably correct. Where would work better do you think?

author comment

They accept me because I accept and respect them and they do good works, we none of us push our agendas but do discuss them freely.

The interesting thing about them (apart from their name "The City Lights Church", I'm not sure if they were aware of the reference to the radical San Francisco bookstore that first published "Howl") is that 500 years ago they would have been burnt as heretics! As a student of history I'm sure you are aware of the 'Michelangelo Heresy', Barham, where he was forced to alter some of his works to place emphasis on the priesthood as God's intermediaries instead of the good works by Christians.

That is something the church has never quite recovered from and many of the best Christians I know don't even go to church. They all wonder if Jesus is really listening.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

I completely agree with you regarding Jesus and his teachings. Personally, I am inclined to think that the only part of the bible worth reading for the valuable lessons it has to teach Humanity, are the gospels, including all the ones that were left out by the Council of Nicea. Jesus did claim he was coming to bring a new covenant between Man and God, so that kid of makes the Old Testament moribund (which is why the majority of Jews rejected Christianity supposedly). Anything after the Gospels is the interpretations given by others of his teachings, and, as such, some of them (such as Paul's teachings) tend to alter the original message.

author comment

I enjoyed it very much. having no valueable suggestiins, just wanted to acknowledge the craft!

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Thanks! I have done that myself on here, even going so far as to tell one poet: "Don't change a single thing!" I even wrote a poem asking why I should feel obliged to criticise when I saw no reason to! (A few years ago, people seemed to be a lot more critical as though one was expected to pick someone's poem apart for the sake of critiquing it.)

author comment
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