‘Blood and Fire’ proclaimed


Praying with pathos, that beard-framed face,

head hand-propped, eyes aglow with grace;

deaf ears strain for those bright band tunes:

mixed-gender apostles media-lampooned;

marching pacifists, soldiers of salvation:

‘Blood and Fire’ proclaimed to many nations.


Brave banners snatched by brawling mobs,

medals duly awarded: snot-slimy gobs;

ship-rockets shot, heads tar-baptised,

drunken sinners mock, curses unwise;

inner-city angels march on high alert,

Christ’s love to sinners, the lost and hurt.


Booth denounced the child-sex slavers,

Victorians were taught biblical behaviour;

drink he hated, denounced the drag of debt,

‘Safety’ replaced ‘Friendly’ match-flare threat;*

this sorry world grieved all its small hopes,

God’s mercy painted in big red brush strokes.


God’s general “promoted” after work-worn years,

prostitutes and tenement poor wept true-felt tears,

(even Queen Victoria thought it right to grieve)

  • so merciful a man, salvation fully believed;

God treasured most the whore’s coffin carnation,

such empathy more eloquent than any oration.




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