Friday, July 01, 2022


by Gary Lark

The Supreme Court said Monday that a Washington state school district violated the First Amendment rights of a high school football coach when he lost his job after praying at the 50-yard line after games. "The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike," Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion.

After the thunder and dash
we have the coach
and his batch of Evangelicals
kneeling at the fifty yard line.

The Wiccan folks are on one twenty
and Muslims on the other.

Down by the east goalposts
there's an Indigenous circle
seeking guidance with peyote.

Over to the west Jains
are trying to avoid the ants.

Sikhs and Jews are having a debate
about the shape of the field.

Eleven Buddhists are chanting
on the east thirty,
Hindus claim the west.

On the track three Mothers
Against Drunk Driving
have given up and are passing a bottle.

The Eckankar crowd are setting up
near the concession stand.

The Crips and the Bloods
are sharing a joint with Spinoza
in the bleachers.

There's a street preacher
practicing his quick draw
when the lights go out.

Gary Lark’s most recent collections are Easter Creek (Main Street Rag), Daybreak on the Water (Flowstone Press), and Ordinary Gravity (Airlie Press). His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Catamaran, Rattle, Sky Island, and others.