Alienation, Alienation From Self, Allah, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Belief, Christ, Culture, Deity, Fundamentalism, God, God(s), Hinduism, Humanism, Nontheism, Self Identity, Self-determination, Society, Spirituality

You Have Days

(About a 2 minute read)

You get older, your voice rasps now
Your hair has whitened,
And your patience with people
Has grown thicker,
Much thicker bark.

They are so rarer now
But you still have days
You want to risk falling
Off your cottage roof
To climb up there,
Take your stand on the peak
And roar, just roar:

“By the gods of fools and of sages,
By the spirits of the living and the dead,
I’m an atheist, you people,
You citizens of the same earth,
An agnostic atheist and no,
I’m not about making you me,
And stealing you from you
So as to compound
The miseries and misdirections
Fated by God and Darwin
For our human lives.

“So let us agree,
Let us de-weaponize our words
To each other.

“Let us from this day to forever
Again speak in civil terms
As brothers do, for both of us
Are doomed to end in a day of tears,
The final gifts from our friends.

“Go your own way,
I’ll go mine.
Don’t meddle with my spirit,
I won’t meddle with yours.

“Let us be true to ourselves,
Brothers and sisters, let us be true.”

But you have journeyed
Long miles from your childhood,
And the road’s lessons have been hard,
So you’re leagues from a total fool.
You know how they would see it,
You’ve seen it before,
Too many times before.

“Look! Atheists are madmen.”
“More like demons, I think.”
“See how he shouts at god, the hypocrite.”
“You can’t trust him, he’s obsessed.”
“How insulting he roars at us!”
“Get the children inside. Umm…The ducks too.”
“His hair’s a mess.”
“When’s supper?”
“I think he’s nice.”

You’re a prophet
Who has seen
Our age is weak,
Most people not strong enough
To endure differences.
And anyway you’re worn
And you’re weary
And you just want to be alone.

So you quietly scratch yourself,
Yawn and shrug in your seat,
And you vow merely to keep
To your side of the road,
Hoping no oncoming driver
Plays chicken with you.
But if one dares test you,
You’ll give him hell.

4 thoughts on “You Have Days”

  1. I like the message of this poem. You’re right there is a lot of animosity between different groups, and unfortunately, the only remedy to that seems to be to just stay quiet. People will tolerate your beliefs as long as you don’t talk about them. I think that that is especially evident in politics. And philosophy. My family and friends think it’s cool that I’m interested in “that kind of stuff” but as soon as I try to talk about it, I get accused of “trying to be smart” I think it’s because everyone thinks that everyone else is trying to sell them something, that everyone has an ulterior motive of some sort. That’s why I like having conversations on WordPress, when the person you are talking to knows nothing about you except your written words.

    1. “Trying to be smart”? Now I’m concerned. Kat, you are smart. That’s you! An important part of you, along with so much else. I’m sure your family means no harm, but the message they’re sending you! You absolutely must ignore it, and stay true to yourself. That at least, is how I see it. Sorry if I’ve come across as bossy or intrusive.

      1. Thank you so much. I’m really flattered that you think so, but that wasn’t really to point of what I was trying to say. I meant that people will try to discredit what you say when they don’t understand it, consciously or not. It also might be a colloquial term of my generation. “Trying to be smart” means pretending to be someone you’re not. So if a smart person gets told that, that does not mean that the person who said that thinks the other person is stupid, that just suspect that the other person is exaggerating some aspect of their character, which does not necessarily have to be their intelligence. I hope that makes sense.

      2. Thanks so much for the clarification! It makes much more sense now what they mean by “trying to be smart”. That’s quite interesting how the expression is being used, by the way.

        Yes indeed! People routinely do that. Routinely go the discredit route, and even when they have no legitimate means of doing so.

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