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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

Comments

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 23, 2018:

Eric, You and your son have giving hearts and that will always make a difference.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 23, 2018:

Hey buddy Manatita. Let me know if your cup runneth low. We are spilling over here with love. Almost too much. My boy says "no way". So we gave ponchos to our homeless buddies. Maybe it worked but I still have an itch.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 23, 2018:

manatita, Questions? Me? I am many question marks, few periods, and even fewer exclamation points. In this piece, many of the questions flooded out. The poem appears in nearly first draft form.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 23, 2018:

Genna, Thank you and I am glad it is thought provoking. And I never give up hope. Ce coeur cherche mais trouve rarement.

manatita44 from london on November 23, 2018:

Sublime, philosophical ... deep. You write from another place. Are you asking questions?

The video was enchanting ... hauntingly beautiful

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on November 23, 2018:

Hi Chris...

Such a beautifully written and thought provoking poem. Our inner muse -- our internal companion of the id, so to speak -- can drive the intuitive creative process through some intriguing journeys. I love how this frank poetry explores, questions, observes, and yes, even hopes. Ce poème vient d'un coeur qui sait.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 19, 2018:

Mark, I appreciate you reading this poem and sharing how you feel about it.

Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on November 19, 2018:

Loved the truth in this poem. Nice job.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 17, 2018:

Eric, go ahead and think away. je pense, donc je suis and thanks for stopping by and taking all this in. It is a mouthful.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 17, 2018:

Wow this is beautiful and packed with great thoughts.

Caused me to remember something I pondered for sometime. Is simply "Are" the same as God being "I am"? (I know - nuts)

And then you got me contemplating "Cogito Ergo Sum". So I shut up my brain reread just for pleasure. Lovely work here.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 13, 2018:

Paula, Darby couldn't be any better if he tried, which he actually does, constantly. Nice to see you.

Suzie from Carson City on November 12, 2018:

Speaking of that precious "buddy" of yours....how's it barking? I'm sure your bond has grown. You have a wonderful Holiday Season, Chris. I wish you all you hope for! Peace, Paula

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 12, 2018:

Suhail, by the way, if I didn't mention it before, I finally got a dog. I appreciate your hubs.

Yes, these thoughts are dark, and in my own inner self, they are intense. These are the questions I find get swept aside, sugar-coated, or ignored altogether. I don't mind tossing them out into the public arena now and then. Life isn't always comfortable.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 12, 2018:

Shauna, issues such as this should be intense. No religion can rule over its followers carte blanche. We must question what we have been told. Truth must be proven. Faith without proof is foolish.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on November 12, 2018:

Hi Chris,

It seemed dark and intense to me, but completely in line with the month of November, which was voted as the most depressing month of the year by Canadians.

Your inner journey is eye opening for a person like me.

Regards,

Suhail

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 12, 2018:

Chris, this is pretty intense. Each word causes thought and reflection.

Well done!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 11, 2018:

Sean, Thank you for seeing it as symbolic. I clearly have issues with some of the established faiths, but there is still time for me to be swayed. But please don't hold your breath waiting. haha.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 11, 2018:

Dora, I hope you took note of my opening section. These are the musings of a seeker, not the firm beliefs of one who has turned against the idea of a power greater than ourselves. I appreciate your friendship and understanding.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 11, 2018:

Your beautiful poem conjures up some deep thought. I appreciate your honest expressions.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on November 11, 2018:

My dear brother Chris, I think that wilderness made you wild! Ha! Ha! I can see that you had plenty of time for inner journeys along with the outer one, and I enjoyed this symbolic "wrath." Shake us to wake up! I am glad to have you back; I love the power of your words.

My contribution to your poem:

"All fundamental problems that we humans bring into our lives have their source to this: we are selfishly thinking that everything belongs to us without understanding our unity with everything." - Sean Dragon

Peace!

Sean

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 10, 2018:

Thanks, John. I am enjoying the poetry. I like how it seeps over into my fiction as more descriptive language. I'll check out your essays and stories. I'm looking forward to being back on HP more now that the latest competition is over. I'll probably focus more on HP and on publishing elsewhere. The competitions are taking too much time. I love them, and they have done a lot for me. But I have to choose how I spend my time. Thanks for stopping by. It's good to see you here.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 10, 2018:

Wow! Chris. Your response to that question on Quora is wonderful. The poem is very thought-provoking. It seems funny that you have turned your hand more to poetry recently and my most recent posts have included an essay and two flash fiction stories.