He runs;
early enough to hear the imam’s call
high in the mosque’s minaret.

Feet pounding tar,
he passes catholic schoolgirls
getting off a bus
outside the convent.

His breath steaming,
he trots by pious men with earlocks
walking slowly, in pairs
to the Chester road synagogue.

He thinks of tolerance,
then gives it up
to contemplate toast.


31 Comments Add yours

  1. Tandy says:

    interesting end to this poem 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      A man must eat 🙂

  2. leigh says:

    Brilliant 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, it’s a very multi-cultural neighborhood this 🙂

  3. souldipper says:

    A microcosm of the planet – before breakfast.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, there are at least 8 religious buildings in a very small radius of my home 🙂

  4. adeeyoyo says:

    Philosophizing, moralizing and meditating all come second to mundane daily bodily requirements such as eating… I love this poem and how true it is! 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks adee, I must find the comments from the first time I posted it. Daaivark and De Waal read quite sinister undertones that were very interesting.

  5. Greg says:

    Toast. Yum.
    Running. Not so much.
    Religion. Ditto.
    Tolerance. More yum.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Toast + bitter marmalade = bliss.
      Running = sweat = yugh.
      Religion = the talk on a cereal box.
      Tolerance = teach it!

  6. Greg says:

    Wasn’t philosophy the talk on the cereal box? And Religion was the smile on a dog?

    Either way, pass the toast please. More is needed. And if you could brew a coffee while you’re up, that would be great too. Thanks.


    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re right, of course :0
      Au lait?

  7. Brilliantly incidental, Cindy. The devil’s in the detail:-)

  8. maybe the endorphins from the run make him believe tolerance is part of everyone

    1. theonlycin says:

      Could well be the case 🙂

  9. aardvarkian says:

    The ending is brilliant. We are human, after all.

  10. gospelwriter says:

    …gives up (thinking of) tolerance to think of toast. Abstract concepts never do sit well on an empty stomach. And wow, what a hodgepodge of religious edifices to pass in a single run!

    1. theonlycin says:

      There must be all sorts of distracting breakfast smells drifting around on his route in the mornings 🙂

  11. suzicate says:

    Love the ending twist! These comments are priceless…pass the jam. please!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Coming right up 😀

  12. slpmartin says:

    Love the end of the poem…a most human reaction.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, the stomach triumphs over the mind 🙂

  13. buttercup600 says:

    Loved the end too…a nice twist!!! xox

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Hon 😀 xxx

  14. Kavita says:

    Amen to that! Cuz religious or not, a man’s got a stomach to fill, and some tastebuds to please after all…
    Me likeys this one, Cin!! 🙂

  15. libraryscene says:

    Very much enjoyed this, Cin…actually have read quite a few that are so wonderful. May your muse revisit soon, so you will post more ~

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for reading 🙂

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