Monday, February 22, 2010


Talk of miracles
turns my mind to the days
of gods who threw down lightning bolts
and mortals who danced to summon the rain.
The gaps in human knowledge are always penciled in
with splendid imagination, like the blanks in a Mad Libs story.

Yet there is no comfort in living
so far from bedtime story beliefs
– miracles, true love, anthropocentric Gods,
the supremacy (or even competence) of humankind –
without stubborn faith in a twofold bedrock:
the strength to claw my way out of any hole
and the hands that reach down to help me.

This poem was written in response to Poetry Prompt # 115: What do you believe? on Read Write Poem.

Photo by Oliver Spalt

        What do you believe in?


Dorkmaster Flek said...

If there are deities, there has to be more than one. There's no way it's a single deity behind everything. Humankind is a science experiment. One that, in my not so humble opinion, produced some really interesting results, but ultimately will fail at keeping themselves alive in the process. Boy, I'm such an uplifting person. :)

Mary said...

Haha I'm with Andrew. Humans are a plague. Sure we can do some crazy things... our minds have dreamed amazing ideas, and our hands have put them into action. Yet our superiority complex is killing us, our planet and all of it's other inhabitants.

Anyway in terms of what I believe in... it's tough. The bible is a crock, and organized religion is one of the reasons humans suck so badly. Do I believe in higher beings? Possibly... I don't friggin know. I guess with an answer like that it means I don't believe in anything.

What if the Earth was a deity? How crazy would that be? I mean it's so alive and functional with eco systems and everything that work in such harmony. Maybe all of the crazy extreme weather going on in the past few years isn't GOD getting mad at us, but the Earth taking it's revenge and saying "FUCK YOU!". Haha.

Paul Oakley said...

I enjoyed reading this poem very much.

Belief and disbelief are sometimes two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, science gives answers (if temporary, contingent ones) or the knowledge that we have to wait for an answer. Faith, at its best, tells us what we need to hear based on our background and inclinations.

Is one truer than the other? They are different things. We may not need certain kinds of knowing from one side or the other, but other kinds of knowing sustain us and give us grounding.That is what I see here (not just me pontificating).

Nicely written!

Anonymous said...

Thought provoking poem. A lot of good visuals used. I note you have god(s) uncapitalized a couple times and then capitalized once. Not sure if that is intentional or not.

Adelaide said...

@poemblaze: You're pretty perceptive -- I actually spent a bit of time thinking about that when I wrote this poem. The first time I wrote "gods" because I was talking about pagan gods which tend not to be capitalized; the second time, I used Gods to refer to the upper-case God of major religions (but pluralized to reflect more than one such religion).

b_ said...

I love the idea that human knowledge is a blind madlib.

Wayne Pitchko said...

Believing is HARD....when we surounded by ummmm crap and lies...I do believe...or something....anyways well done and thanks for sharing this

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

You address in this poem something I've always believed...that there is a gap between knowledge and the lack of that both myth and reason try to bridge. We need both. I especially love the image in your last two lines ("the strength to claw my way out of any hole/and the hands that reach down to help me").


flaubert said...

I love this poem and especially this:
"Yet there is no comfort in living
so far from bedtime story beliefs"
How true this is!


Tumblewords: said...

The gaps in human knowledge are always penciled in
with splendid imagination, like the blanks in a Mad Libs story.
This phrase particularly caught me.
A wonderfully readable and provocative poem.