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Rise Up, Oh Humankind: A Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.

Andromeda Galaxy via Hubble

The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. The image also shows Messier Objects 32 & 110, as well as NGC 206 (bright star cloud in Andromeda Galaxy) and the star Nu Andromeda.

The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. The image also shows Messier Objects 32 & 110, as well as NGC 206 (bright star cloud in Andromeda Galaxy) and the star Nu Andromeda.

My Wish as You Read

Tread carefully here between the garden rows of words that mean everything,

Yet likely amount to nothing but gibberish

And the rantings of a confused soul.

Don't hold me to these phrases as one holds another to a promise.

Simply see the cry of emotion,

The depth of despair,

The reach for the heavens,

The inward gaze,

To take the choice

That the future is ours,

Ours alone.

Dark Eyes by Bob Dylan, Sung by Judy Collins

The Writing of this Poem

This poem rose out of my answer to a question on the question/answer site called, Quora. The original question was, "Can you write a sentence that begins with "Are" that isn't a question?"

My original answer went like this, "Yes, it can be done, but the sentence will need to be inverted and may sound more like poetry than plain speech. Here is my effort. Are worms, those darkened eyes that bore into my rotting soul."

From that beginning, I wrote the poem, Rise up, Oh Humankind.

Rise Up, Oh Humankind

Are worms,

Those darkened eyes that bore into my vile soul,

Burrowing, digging, eating the core of my being

Until there is nothing left,

But consciousness and regret.

He gazes on my broken spirit,

My devastated self,

And sees my decrepit being.

I creep between the living and the dead.

He is altogether good, lovely, perfect in every way.


I am the filth of pigs, the residue of a godless people

Who turned their backs

On the divine and succumbed to reason, who

Wrestled with the questions of life,

The unfairness,

Inequity,

Cruelty,

And bizarre behavior of a divine being who claimed to have so loved the world.


I am their spawn.

He was their everything,

Their disappointment.

I sought and found him wanting.

He sought and found me a sinner

Unrepentant

Unbending

Demanding an explanation for millennia of suffering that seemed useless.


Could my prayers sway him?

Might my supplications lure him to do as he commanded us to do?

To spare the suffering,

Stop the pain,

Satisfy the hungry,

Care for the orphans?


Oh, the thought of such a god as this,

To create every kind of suffering

And delegate its resolution to lesser beings

Who can barely feed themselves.


Rise up oh humankind.

Rise above your faith,

Above your reason,

Look beyond the pain,

Feel not the hunger of the starving,

But envision a time

And space

Where men simply care for the human family,

Without the prophecies of an empty messiah,

Or the predictions of soulless science,

Accepting the fact that we are alone

In a vast and complex universe,

Creation, Creator, Master, Servant, and Holy God.

© 2018 Chris Mills

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