Fear of Bombs – a poem by John Ian Bush

At Eight,

I went to church

And prayed at an alter

Below stone Jesus,

Hanging on cross and bleeding:

Both Stone eyes staring down at me.

The preacher promised


God’s protection.

“Jesus loves you.”

I was baptized,

In front of


Soaked in perfume.


Drunk and freshly shaven.



In front of stone Jesus,

Still hanging, bleeding.

“I’m sorry, Jesus. Please, protect me,” I whispered.

At Nine,

I wept in front of Television.

Newsman said,

“The whole worlds went to Hell, nobody can do a damn thing about it.”

No sign of Jesus.

At Ten,

I asked my consoler, “Is there a pill for the fear of bombs?”

At Eleven,

I spent nights pacing floors,

Went days without sleep.

When I did sleep,

I woke up crying under my sheets,




Under my nose was my bedside mop bucket.

It was full of my nervous vomit.

One night,

I got up, wrapped my naked body in comforter,

Ran out to the back yard,

Fell on grass,

On my knees,

Dug my fingers in dirt,

Looked up to moon and Heaven and cried, “But Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me!”


Published by


Modernist writer and poet.