Everywhere you look, they’re sprouting,
Shiites, Sunnis
rekindling the prophet’s spirit,
Orthodox in countries which had abjured religion
rediscovering connections long forgotten
which their autocratic rulers nourish,
retro-Catholics in Poland
merging the Black Virgin of Czestochowa
with intolerance for their opponents,
Hinduvistas dreaming of a purified  homeland,
Jewish zealots of a reconsecrated Temple Mount,
Buddhist incendiaries in Myanmar,
evangelicals in the New World,
a veritable smorgasbord of beliefs
which a scientific age
had prematurely dismissed.

The Minders

Her talk is fluid/fluent,
the ups and downs of relations between Europe and the Porte
over two centuries,
a Sultan journeying to the West,
wars, atrocities,
mirror images and stereotypes to this day.
And through it all
– though the speaker is careful
how she weaves her tale
to not dwell overtly on the new Sultan,
his prisons overflowing,
the bleak Islamic turn his regime now takes –
three figures in sober attire from the Consulate
noting carefully every word she states,
lest she cross the invisible boundary
that spells dissent.