we have need of gods
an ancient irony
like blood that needs heat
to sweat out the mysteries
to rage in revenge
to reconcile sacrifice
to repel condemnation
to simmer our gratitude
for the many wonders
as misunderstood
as all the horrors

relieve us we pray
in our righteous moments
from the sins of others
their guns, their bombs
their swords of hate
lives and livelihoods cut short
in genocides renamed –
semantics play large
in wars of loathing and
vile justifications

relieve us we pray
from children killing children
from executions in the street
from brothers killing brothers
from sisters unleashed
like the dogs of war
like a belly full of cancer
like an aorta swelling

our gods cry ‘havoc’
in traps set by rulers
by teachers at schools
and in places of worship
by parents at dinner table

our legs immobilized
like wolves ensnared, we chew off our feet
attempts at freedom cripple and break us

and everywhere
mouthing lies
groaning in denial
bowing to gutter rats
scraping to vultures
the false gods of our making

© 2012, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved 


How is it, why is it, when is it that we bow to gutter rates, scrap before vultures, worship gods made in our own feeble image?  If you feel comfortable, share you poem in the comments section below or via a link. All work shared on theme will be published here next Tuesday. You are welcome – encouraged – to participate no matter the status of your career: beginner, emerging or pro. You have until Monday evening at 8:30 PST to respond.



  1. My fourth and final response:

    “Forsaken Children”
    (Raanana, September 23, 2017)

    The child is taught
    When there is no help
    God is our help,
    When there is no hope
    God is our hope,
    When there is no redemption
    God is our redemption.
    These are honeyed words
    To hear on sabbath after new years,
    They succor us until we need them to be true
    And then they desert us
    Just like God did long ago
    And we cry out from our crosses
    With our last breaths like His Son
    Why have You forsaken Me?
    The truth is it’s our beliefs that crucify us,
    Better to die like a lion roaring
    Against the jackals of death
    Or an eagle falling silently
    From the sky
    Than like forsaken children
    Waiting for redemption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My third response:

    “A True Believer”
    (Raanana, February 10, 2017)

    Although there is truth
    I will never know it
    Or be absolutely sure.
    Although the world
    And universe above and below
    Do in fact exist
    I will never perceive or conceive it.
    Although all this is true
    There is not enough evidence
    To make of me a true believer
    A skeptic or a cynic
    An optimist or pessimist.
    According to forensic science
    Every criminal leaves a trail
    Except for God and His magicians.
    All this and less
    As we move forward in our time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My second response:

    (Raanana, December 4, 2016)

    That I know what my wife is feeling,
    That my love will be enough to protect her
    From the lovelessness around her,
    That my particular being might have some worth
    In the eye of the Grand Schemer of Things,
    That the sun will climb over the eastern mountains tomorrow,
    That the ground on which I walk
    Is as solid as any reality,
    These are small beliefs I think
    That won’t hurt anyone else,
    At least I don’t believe so.
    But there are grander beliefs
    That grow stronger
    With every man and woman who believes them,
    That only the grandest edifices
    Can house them,
    These beliefs,
    Like who’s a chosen people
    And who’s a virgin, an only son, or a true prophet,
    Beliefs that hurt those who don’t believe them.
    These are the beliefs I don’t believe
    Are any good for anything
    That’s not a building.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My first response:
    “The Grand Scheme of Things”
    (Raanana, April 11, 2016)
    The dark cloud squats heavily on the horizon
    Undecided whether to drift slowly
    Over our dusty fields with its fat bladder
    Full of drought quenching rains
    Or to drift up the coast a ways
    To quench the thirst of our enemy’s fields.
    O Lord, I know it makes no difference
    In the grand scheme of things,
    But I can’t help the fact
    It would make all the difference in the world
    To me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My first response Jamie :
    #Falsehood of legendary Gods #
    Kakali Das Ghosh

    Swimming through their tears I live
    Shedded leaves let out a deep sigh
    The fiscous sky leaves a black smile
    Howl of funous thunder
    Heehaw of rampant lightning
    tear apart hearts
    A lorn’s cry for mom
    A beggar’s bowl beside a temple
    A street child’s furious search for a wrapper
    A destitute aback a flash flood
    Casts the falsehood of legendary Gods
    Towards galaxies
    Towards constellations
    Towards this whole universe. .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My response to a thought filled prompt. Be well Jamie,

    Gods Like A Twining Snake

    Gods cloaked as inner fears
    grounded in DNA
    like a twining snake
    posed to lunge
    to strike

    waiting within a tired mind
    weariness a braided chain
    harnessing movement

    reality sinking into quicksand
    bogs of memory calling
    burning names

    Gods of money and loving guns
    meaningless possessions
    of nameless masses

    when the use of words like arrows
    taken from the quiver
    can be weaponry
    to fight

    dueling with engines
    created of cells
    stinging like bees

    identified as expectations
    masked as perfection
    a straight line
    blue chalk
    do not cross

    we try to let go, let be
    erase illogical revenue
    nothing money
    can buy

    for these Gods leave
    no purchase
    are grounded
    on a slippery

    quickly buried by mud slides
    that alter belief in self
    confidence askew
    in the remnants
    of time

    © November 2017 Renee Espriu

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Still Searching for Answers

    I have lifted my eyes to the heavens to pray
    trying to renew the faith I once felt;
    coming to find at the end of the day
    that life as I know it is centered on doubt.
    How can God sanction such anger and hate,
    the loss of a parent to such a young child;
    the illness and pain that never abates…
    too many questions left unreconciled.

    We thank God for all of the good things that come,
    but who takes the blame for the unanswered prayer?
    Time intercedes until we’ve become numb—
    stuck in this place between hope and despair.

    I believe there are angels who wander among us:
    in the friend who just senses when you need to talk;
    in the kindness of strangers when we are in crisis,
    who lift and support us when we cannot walk.

    Life lessons learned have hardened this heart;
    still God bless the ones who can truly believe.
    Blind faith without proof is really an art;
    it’s through love and kindness I’ll find my reprieve.

    I still ponder the words that we heard in our youth:
    to pray, to have faith that our voice will heard;
    but have come to acknowledge this as my truth—
    my Divinity’s found helping those here on earth.

    Ginny Brannan 2017

    Liked by 1 person

  8. they asked Bertrand Russell

    how he would react
    if when dead he found that God really did exist —
    that he had been wrong all along…

    what would he do when he arrived
    at the Pearly Gates
    to be welcomed by St Peter?

    what would he say to God?

    without hesitating Russell said:
    I’d go up to him and I’d say
    you didn’t give us enough evidence

    (From my ‘The Recovery of Wonder’ (2013)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. alma mater


    the machine believes money
    is love. honor and prestige
    parade through the town

    with cash clenched tightly
    in their hands. they build
    monuments to honor sport

    while souls are crushed
    under the clamor of their
    self-congratulatory speech.


    the hallowed halls
    ring hollow with words,
    reeking of self-preservation.

    indeed if ghosts
    still pass through these walls,
    the living do all the haunting.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Bozhidar Pangelov

    ***(Have the life)

    The wings are bending of a dead
    Under the fallen papers with words
    not burnt cockroaches are running
    and forth
    making noise…
    And the ocean dries up.
    The death is whispering in eyes
    every single while,
    when you’re bent above the oars.
    The oars are making after the hits
    and they’re expanding.
    A twitch and the end.
    But the tries are repeated.
    It doesn’t matter.
    They leave sweat and tears,
    pieces of keels,
    trails of activity,
    Where are you going in the early afternoon,
    When the twilight
    Is lying on your shoulders?
    (but love is a place sedentary).
    Repent –

    Have the life!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Jamie,
    Here’s my second response:

    A Sea God

    “Don’t let it get away!”
    my sister shouts as my Dad’s hot air
    wrapped in rubber flaps up
    over the ocean in a cross gust.

    We both climb in to steady it.
    “We’re going out too far!
    “I can’t see mum and dad.”
    She shouts clambering back out.

    She grasps the rope to pull
    it forward but gust is too strong.
    She lets rope go. “I’m going
    back.” she shouts and swims away.

    I paddle but gust is against me.
    I get out, grab the rope, try to haul,
    the current against me. I climb
    back in. Watch beach and mam

    and dad disappear, till there is only
    the gusted, grey green waves.
    It is cold. In my trunks I curl
    into a question mark
    in the rubber dinghy.

    Suddenly, a shout. A huge hand
    gathers me and dinghy up.
    I rise into air. Lifted
    into a smelly fishing boat.

    “Thought tha wa lost their lad.”
    the sea god says.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Jamie,
    Here’s my first response:

    Godfather Life

    I am born dead.
    My father weeps
    as he has nowt
    and hopes for best.

    He holds us out
    in middle of our road
    and offer as whoever
    says they want me

    can be my godfather.
    God turns up first
    and says as he can give me
    eternal life in heaven.

    Dad tells him to bugger off
    as I’ll still be dead
    and he’ll still be bereft.
    Devil arrives next,

    and says he can give me
    all riches and principalities
    in world at cost of my father’s
    blood and soul.

    Dad tells him to bugger off
    as riches are in other things
    and he don’t want me
    without a father.

    Then Life turns up
    and says he will make me
    a miracle worker and bring
    other folk to life. Dad agrees.

    When I’m of age
    Life says to me
    “I’ve given you breath
    of life you can gi to others.

    When you see me not there
    it means as they shunt
    have it. Don’t make me smile.
    You won’t like it.

    If I laugh it will be at you
    not with you. You’ll have
    disobeyed me, so I must
    take away your gift.”

    Then my wife drowns suddenly.
    I think surely life
    won’t mind, but
    it isn’t there. I kiss

    her lips till they redden.
    And there was Life
    at the foot of the bed,
    and it’s smiling.

    It tells “Well done.
    Pleased to see such progress.
    You have challenged me.
    I like your spirit. Let

    it go this once. Your wife
    needs a hug.” Then my dad
    dies of asphyxiation
    in a car accident.

    As I’m about to give
    Dad my breath
    Life pulls me away
    with a “I know you

    want the best for him.”
    I reply “If you take
    my gift give it to him.”
    Life takes my breath away.

    Liked by 1 person

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