The Martyrdom of

Thomas Merton


Thomas Merton's Destiny


He lived to a higher standard,

So it should be no surprise

That his unexpected death

Was met by the standard lies.


-David Martin

Thomas Merton Poems

Thomas Merton's Martyrdom


They say his death was meaningless.

That's what they want us to swallow.

But in light of all the evidence,

Their argument rings hollow.


His life was full of purpose,

But we must to the world confide:

His words had no more meaning

Than the things for which he died.


David Martin



The Thomas Merton Assassination

For reason of state

He had to be killed.

For reason of state,

Blood had to be spilled.

You're oh so naive

To expect moral purity

The man had to die

For our nation's "security."

Your thirst for the truth

Will just go unsated.

Our reason of state

Can never be stated.


David Martin

Post-Christian Man


Look up to the organization

With the proper awe and fear.

Bow down to your earthly betters,

And safeguard your career.


Neither sun nor moon will smite you

In daytime or at night,

If you keep your waters waveless,

Regardless of what's right.


Your temporal protectors

Will neither slumber nor sleep,

As long as you are one

With the company that you keep.


With sovereignty unchecked

By any Higher Power,

The purposeful collective

Displays its finest flower.


That purpose is whatever

Our vulgar fancy wills

When no one's eyes are lifted

Unto the Psalmist's hills.


- David Martin


(Psalm 121 updated)

Thomas Merton Fairy Tale


Merton slipped and had a fall

And landed on his head.

A "banana peel" was introduced

Long after he was dead.


The slippage didn't make much sense;

It could give a skeptic pause,

So a prop was trotted out

And offered as the cause.


For almost half a century

The subterfuge held sway.

The men who took Tom Merton's life

Had everything their way.


Now the veil's been torn away;

The crime has been revealed,

While his "devotees" act as though

They wish it were concealed.


You'd think that they would surely know

That this makes them look bad.

Are they just embarrassed at

How badly they've been had?


David Martin


Epistemological Mystery and Thomas Merton


How have the narrow and the gauche,

Flaunting “econ,” “psych,” and “soash,”

Eclipsed their intellectual betters,

Our once exalted men of letters?

They’ve certainly never shown that they

Have more perceptive things to say

About life’s deeper mysteries

With formulae and indices

Than our tested bards and sages

Whom we’ve trusted through the ages,

But for no reason demonstrated,

Our literati abdicated…

 

Except for Merton,

Who was assassinated.


- David Martin

Wise Monkeys?


Why haven't they looked into Merton's demise?

Here's what's occurred to me:

Our scholars have all averted their eyes

Out of fear of what they might see.


    - David Martin


Learning from Experience


The Sanhedrin really blew it.

At the time, nobody knew it.


But once they saw how everything went,

They wished they'd contrived an "accident."


David Martin

So Wrong about Thomas Merton's Death


To the tune of Patsy Cline's “So Wrong.


We've been so wrong

For so long;

So many have lied

About how Merton died,

We were wrong, oh so wrong.


We've been so wrong

For so long.

How could we guess

That they'd fool us like this?

We were wrong.


No shower-wet hand

Ever touched a bad fan.

That was just a ruse.

What Merton got

Was the fruit of a plot.

You must know whose.


We were so wrong

For so long;

Now we've seen the light,

And we must make it right.

We were wrong.


No shower-wet hand

Ever touched a bad fan.

That was just a ruse.

What Merton got

Was the fruit of a plot.

You must know whose.


We were so wrong

For so long;

Now we've seen the light,

And we must make it right.

We were wrong.


-David Martin


Thomas Merton's Hermitage Orientation

Said Merton to Abbot James Fox,

"You know that I'm not so inclined,'

But back at the big Trappist box,

There are those who are you will find."

             David Martin


Too Much Knowledge about Thomas Merton's Death


Could it be we've learned too much?

If charged, we must confess.

We would be more popular

If we knew much less.


When we "knew" what others "knew,"

Everything was great.

Merton pros had not consigned us

To a "pariah" state.


Education's big with them

And ignorance the foe,

Except for those disturbing things

That they don't want to know.


-David Martin