Interfaith Week Poem

This poem was shared yesterday at our Interfaith Week Launch event. It has been written for us by local poet Katherine Owen.

In The Name of Religion (What do we do?)

What do we do when the gun goes off

and we feel people’s loss of ones 

they’d built their life around?

‘Not in my name,’ we say.

Yet it has been done 

in the name of religion.

What do we do?

Do we resign from the group,

leave its name to ones who do not stand 

for anything it stands for?

Or do we choose to stay and claim 

the beauty of our tradition?

What do we do when the explosion roars?

People point towards us, saying,

“He, she, is one of them.”

Do we build walls, shut ourselves in with those who share our label?

Or do we reach out– share our home, our table,

do what we can to show we are against the violence?

What do we do?

We take time to bless the enemy–

we see Love pour down on one who contemplates an atrocity,

we see them choose again. 

We reach out to those who feel victimised, marginalised.

We include, we educate.

What do we do?

We bring what we know to bear–

our blessings, our forgiveness, our rituals, our prayer,

our holding to the knowing that

there is a Love beyond all things

and without it we are nothing.

What do we do?

We hold a vision of a world at peace.

We pray for leaders to be guided wisely.

We pray for those who take care of our security. 

We pray for those who have lost 

a limb, a loved one, a life.

What do we do?

In the name of all religions and of none

we choose to be here together today.

As the native Americans wisely say

“Which tree is so foolish that 

its branches fight among themselves?”

(c) Katherine T Owen

The poet gives permission to share this poem with her name included.

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