The Last Atheist

The Last Atheist

You are the only magic
that I believe in,
my dear wife who still prays
when I don’t

Peek-a-boo
I see you
in I.C.U.

I find joy in watching you hug
the many tenets of your faith like
teddy bears of God, because
your cuteness is kind.

You smile
and I see in our flowing eyes
you are my talisman, my
magic pool, and
I swim in you

but stay, and though you pray, I
don’t want a higher power. I
want you to
tell me a story, to
stay with me at my bed, and
I think that

the growing grape
doesn’t care
about the wine, cares not
to make a point — no spirits
in these many things of nature, but

I’m intoxicated by your spirit
your smile. Hug me like
I’m a teddy bear of God
and I make

a toast from the brink of death:
show me the magic
before I go drink oblivion
and tell me the lie
you’ll never leave me

You are the
only magic
I believe in

But I will die
little
a point vanishing
nothing remaining for me.
To myself
I will have never been

and if I ever loved you
I will not know

and if you ever loved me
I will not feel it because
to me, I will have never existed

I will be forever nothing
unless

you could save me forever
not as a memory
but as me, myself
and we — I mind that
I could not kiss you
if I were a mist in time

Show me the magic
or hearty spirits, but

I do not wish to haunt you, and
you deserve more than dust

Must you go from me or
must I go as a vapor?

Show me the magic,
woman of my dreams.
I swim in you.

Before I go far out of my mind
you must tell me a lie:
tell me you are God, though

perhaps
you could be my angel

Perhaps
your spirit will carry me to heaven —

seems plausible
for an angel, and
you are beautiful magic
but

how will I kiss you again
if you won’t teach me
the magic of your tales. Explain the
phosphorescent creatures in your fables
who swim in seas of ineffables
and let me drink your glow
if these be souls

Show me the magic:
any miracle will do.
I believe in you.

Be happy for now, and
don’t miss me.
I will have never been.
Good-bye.
—Douglas Gilbert

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6 thoughts on “The Last Atheist

  1. Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

    1. Patmos Pete,
      The narrator of the poem demonstrates how non-belief leads to a logical dead end. However, many believers in God don’t believe in man-made organized religion which also can lead to a logical dead end.

  2. This is great as always… And as always, I always read and admire. I had a long paragraph of a comment I was about to post on here but then thought again about the posting of ‘said comment’ because I’ve had a couple of drinks and didn’t want to say something wrong about a poem that seems to be a controversial type subject with people. Yes, I know, insecurities like that should be abandoned but I still can’t seem to get rid of them. Hope this finds you doing good! Glad to see new poems from you coming out…

  3. Bethany,
    Thanks so much. I know what you mean about controversial subjects. I hesitated even posting this tip-toe around vagueness because people can be very rigid and angry about their views. I think it is possible to have a God who is not at all anthropomorphic, not in any conceivable way like a person. On the other hand, maybe when all souls are in perfect communication with each other on some higher level, that total collection of souls, all together, are God. Our lack of total loving connection with everyone(or our lack of awareness of it,or remembering how to do such connection) is what makes us separate from this all powerful abstraction. I could see possibly souls at different levels of advancement helping others to become fully aware of the oneness. Thus, in a certain sense, I could see all angels and no God. Or not. What do I know?
    It might be that the only thing eternally real is Love in its purest form. (but I do like the basest kind here on planet Earth… mere mortals have their wine, women, and song, while they wait for enlightenment…and those cfl light bulbs are not helping(wrong color).
    My computer is broken, so I’m doing limited stuff from the library.
    Always great to here from you.
    I have a fond guess about the phantom comment. I like what I imagine.

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