Some Atheist Poems

Poet Bill Knott is an elusive figure, especially in this day and age where anonymity is both desired and shamed via the Internet. Social media want a “you” that is always accessible, an ego that expands into other egos, but one that is persona rather than actual person. This pretentious rant of mine aside, Knott thought a couple of my poems were tolerable enough to be included in his “Atheist Poetry: An Ongoing Online Anthology.”

**

Acolyte

I don’t think I’m a Christian because
if Jesus loves he loves the way I love
everyone and that’s a sad god though
probably a fairly decent man
or at least one who’s honest, trying
to make do, care, and give to you all
enough of what you want, the rest of
what you need. I’ve never understood
why we can’t just be good without some
compensation or damnation or
endless attrition. I mean, I am
good, yet I don’t care about you; good,
not unkind yet not loving the way
you’re use to. Then again, a child doesn’t
get to decide what love it wants or
what love is needed. Children get
the touch, the push, the love that will let
them hold, grasp, and for themselves.

 
 
Remember being a child,
the years just hours old,
asked in the narthex of Trinity Lutheran,
And what’s your name?
 
Without meeting any gaze
I held my mother’s hand,
because that’s what I did
(what we all did),
 
responding, “They call me Daniel.”
And the Voice would laugh
at me, at my innocent response,
And who are ‘they’?
 
I looked up sheepishly
into a face I cannot recall,
“You.”
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