Guest Poet Paddy Raghunathan

Universal Religion

Most often, we are so much at a loss
When things just do not seem to go our way---
We simply canít help feeling very cross.

When credit card bills mount to a huge gross
And life gets harder with each passing day,
We fret, fume and continue at a loss.

We disregard to mow, neglect to floss---
In every act, there is a time delay;
Though promptly we remember to feel cross,

Sit, stare, do nothing and just gather moss.
Hey, when was it last that the times were gay?
Most often, we are so much at a loss---

And donít believe our sins could be the cause.
In afterthought, we do attempt to pray;
Though even that wonít stop us feeling cross.

God demonstrates then that he is the boss
Events unfold---we donít have any say,
That often, we are so much at a loss
And it seems quite right that we must feel cross.

May, 1999

Paddy Raghunathan's Questions:


1. This is a villanelle. How is the flow? Does the poem follow through correctly?

2. The poem is meant to be humorous. Is that brought out?

3. Did you identify with the poem? If you did not, the title is not right, i.e., it is not universal.

4. Is the use of the word "religion" in the title ok? The meaning implied is that it is an attitude, but regardless of whether we believe in God or not, our attitude is our true religion, isn't it?


1. I have tried to write it in iambic meter, pentameter, for most part. There are places where I have broken the rule. How do I sound then? Does it hurt the scheme?

The Albany Poetry Workshop