Luther at the Wartburg

After the Wall, the shaky Berlin train
to Leipzig for a glimpse of Bach and on
to Eisenach to see the feste Burg
where Luther grew his tonsure out
and gave the Testament a German tongue.

Past platform signs for Weimar, Gotha,
places from the past brought back on line,
their baggage shunted from the sidings
to the here and now. Towns blinking,
out of tune, for long unsung.

And to the castle with its own great wall
where Luther, short on compromise
and long on imprecation laid things down
as gospel: Rome was Babylon;
indulgences, the devil’s dung.

So many walls around us not yet down.
Fumes hang in the air of odium
theologicum, the righteousness
which lights the homicidal gene.
Anathemas we live among.

– David Morphet 2005