By Alex WIlliams
The idea of Woke Culture is a very appealing one, especially to those who wish to create and foster a climate in which everyone is able to be their true self and flourish in their authentic identity. It implies that bigots and dogmatists are still asleep, while the rest of us, including us humanists who consciously challenge dogma, have woken up. The worry is that the pendulum swings too far, and Woke Culture breeds its own type of fascism, where those who disagree with its dogmas and tenets are vilified, silenced and ‘cancelled’. This poem reflects on a moment of readjusting the balance, of cherishing difference, of compromise, and ultimately of love.
Taking Granny to Church
I take my granny to church.
She can’t walk well and she needs an arm.
I don’t kneel but I say the prayers.
I don’t take mass but I sing the hymns.
I’m happy to sing hymns.
It’s the same as singing pop songs.
I don’t believe All Things Are Bright and Beautiful
Any more than Love is a Rollercoaster.
I am more than happy to celebrate
Easter and Christmas.
Any excuse to feast with the family.
I don’t do Lent though.
No false pretences.
I won’t lead a prayer before dinner
Or say ‘bless you’ when I mean thanks.
But I’ll say it if you sneeze. That’s polite.
I had a civil ceremony
Though I sang at my sister’s
Alicia Keyes and Stevie Wonder.
I learnt all the words to the prayers
As a child so though I don’t believe in them
I still say them. I like the practice.
Tests the memory.
Granny took me to the cinema when I was young.
Sat through films she didn’t care tuppence for.
Now I take her to church. Perhaps it’s hypocrisy.
Maybe obligation. Maybe love.