Joseph’s brothers threw him down a well
then sold him as a slave,
yet when he held them in his power
he hugged, blessed and forgave.
“I am Joseph, your brother!”
was his heart-felt cry.

What is the torch
to lead you through the dark?
What is the high and sunlit place?
The clear and cloudless sky?

Stalin sat up late at night
marking victim’s names off a list.
Did twenty million people fall
beneath his prideful fist?
“Lest one of them threatens me,
they all must surely die.”

The merry-go-round slowly grinds
with its choice of horses to ride,
cankerous beasts of revenge, resentment,
folly, heartache and murderous pride.

The Pilgrim Fathers fled to a new world
in search of religious liberty.
There they tried and hanged their brethren
for the “crime” of blasphemy.
“Such abomination,” they declared,
“can never be spared.”

The grinding beasts they mounted
and then so loved to ride
surely were ignorance, hypocrisy,
bigotry and murderous pride.

The Nazarene healed, taught and blessed,
freely giving, never counting the cost.
He was betrayed, ridiculed and flogged
and then cruelly nailed to a cross.
“Father, forgive them,” he said,
before he bowed his head and died.


Neil Creighton‘s work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work often reflects strong interest in social justice. His recent publications have been in “Prosopisia”, “Poetry Quarterly”, “South Florida Poetry Journal”, “Silver Birch Press”, “Social Justice Poetry” and “whispersinthewind333″ and “Verse-Virtual”, where he is a Contributing Editor. He blogs at

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