A Taxing Question

Does what we pay in taxes

count towards what we

are meant to fork out to those who

have less than you or me?


To be a first class Muslim

the Prophet’s clear command

was zakat, but at rates below

HMRC’s demand.


For righteous Jews there’s tzedakah

of income, 10% –

while Christians – less specific – duck

clarifying what Jesus meant  


when he said it’s easier

to push a camel through

a needle’s eye, than for the rich

to join the Chosen Few,


and then there is that daunting tale

of the young gent who declined

to flog off all his worldly goods

if he’d salvation find.  


But my tax bill extracts far more

towards the common good

than these religions legislate

for heaven’s sake I should –


except of course I never know

whether my money’s gone

to fund the NHS, or schools


or Trident, and the Bomb.

Published in Snakeskin 262, June 2019