Poetry Break – A few poems for your entertainment

Poetry Break (A poem a day keeps the stress away)

Here are a few secular poems for your entertainment.

“Archaeopteryx Nightmare” was my answer to Creationist denials concerning the Archaeopteryx fossils. Creationists do not accept the fossils as transitional animals somewhere between reptiles and birds although fossil impressions of feathers are abundant. Prior to discovering theropods (bipedal dinosaurs) that had feathers paleontologists had already noted over a hundred structural similarities between birds and dinosaurs. The discovery of feathers on many species of dinosaurs, some of them totally terrestrial ended the debate, except for evangelicals. Evangelicals realized that dinosaurs with feathers were a closing argument on their fundamentalist beliefs. To this day they must adamantly deny the significance of numerous fossils found in collections all over the world.

 Archaeopteryx Nightmare

The Archaeopteryx is fictitious, shall I tell you why?

It doesn’t fit into God’s plan; it’s just a secular lie.

Fossils found all over the world are not the missing links.

As I was taught in church, evolution theories stink.

I can’t let facts get in the way when I read my bible.

I can’t let science confuse me; it’s simply secular libel.

How do scales turn into feathers, a beak evolve from teeth?

How can legs turn into wings? The concepts cause me grief.

As I lay me down to sleep, I hope I don’t have dreams

of flying reptiles with feathers and teeth, animals so extreme.

The Archaeopteryx cannot exist, the bible tells me so.

Fossils are lies and science is wrong, this I truly know.

I’ll stick to claims of Bronze Age prophets with faithful resolution

and ignore all those scientists who do swear by evolution.

Archaeopteryx, you never lived, you’re not a missing link.

You’re not part of nature’s plan, for those of us who don’t think.


I attend church services occasionally. During prayers I usually look around and often see boredom in the eyes and faces of those with bowed heads. Most of the congregation are college graduates and well educated professional people. I’m convinced they don’t believe Jonah resided in the belly of a great fish, the universe was created in six days, and dead people rise from their graves and walk around among the living. They don’t believe in a supernatural God. They attend church for personal, family, and social reasons. This poem is addressed to all those closeted deists and agnostics who choose not to rock their boat.

During Sunday Services

During Sunday services in the midst of sacred song,

heads are bowed in prayer, hands with clasped palms.

Religious thoughts may not hold your attention nor grip your busy mind;

your thoughts may often wander; perhaps of the secular kind.

What about the business deal or the raise you didn’t get?

What about your sexy friend or that football bet?

What about the college boards or next year’s tuition?

Will your car last the year, what is its condition?

Does the pastor make any sense as he rants and raves?

Do his words make you fearful or calm oceans’ angry waves?

I don’t believe these bent bodies, clasped hands and bowed heads

really mean they’ve swallowed what the preacher said.

Those, who use a little reason and make a scientific choice,

need more than threats and bribes so they might rejoice.

They may be closeted atheists or agnostics, if you like.

They really may be humanists of the secular type.

They come to church with family, to see their social friends.

They come to put in an appearance; this way the week it ends.

They come to church because their parents did so and told them to do the same.

They come to church not because they believe what the bible claims.

Children of all faiths believe as their family does

about miracles and myths, and silly things because

to doubt those stories is a sin, dogma is from God’s own mind.

Don’t think for yourself they say, you must leave science behind.

Trust in what the bible says, believe it as you are told.

Don’t doubt what the preacher claims; his word is good as gold.

During Sunday services in the midst of sacred song,

heads are bowed in prayer, hands with clasped palms.

Now is the time to question the stories you were told

in youth when you were timid. Now is your time, be bold.

I remember watching Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell attribute natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, to divine punishment because cities harbored atheists and homosexuals. No matter that innocent people also died. Religious folk often pray for rain; when rains turn to floods they pray for sunshine. When their prayers don’t work they claim God had a reason not to answer them; when they do work they praise God for answering their pleas. It doesn’t make sense to me or to other secular humanists. I wrote “About the Weather” to make this all to obvious point.

About The Weather

About the weather I often wonder, about the rainfall and the thunder,

about the sunshine and the snowfall, about good weather and the awful.

I wonder if it comes by chance, or is it scheduled in advance?

Do the gods plan weather ahead or does it come by luck instead?

When downpours flood the land and leave no place on which to stand;

when deluges drown poor folk, is it some kind of heavenly joke?

Are the storms and hurricanes, that smash our homes and crash airplanes,

just a part of a heavenly plan to make life miserable for all of man?

When for good weather we often pray, do those prayers ever change the day?

And if those prayers are heard by God, why do churches have lightningrods?

Climate changes they puzzle me. Are they by chance or by decree?

If you’ve wondered about such things, about the destruction that weather brings,

just remember it’s not been planned by divine schedule and godly hand.

Weather comes to us by chance according to nature’s circumstance.

Unless, of course, humans interfere with earth’s delicate atmosphere.

Speaking of prayers: Prayers are comforting, but do little else except deceive gullible or needy people. Prayers work like a placebo works. When nothing else works, neither do prayers. When prayers take the place of action they are detrimental; when they assist action they may be useful. Whether prayers work or not, makes no difference to the ones praying, a non-answer is considered as much of answer as a positive answer. Apparently religious folks are satisfied with their self-deception. We atheists don’t waste our time praying, but those loved ones who might pray for us will feel a whole lot better.

 Atheist’s Prayer

As I lay me down to sleep

please pray, the Lord my soul to keep.

And if I should die before I wake

fond memories of me I hope you’ll take.

I won’t pray for me, for goodness sake,

because no difference will it make.

But if that’s what really pleases you,

don’t say just one, please say a few.


About cgosling

I am a retired medical/scientific illustrator and creator of patient teaching simulators, who has given up illustration to write about science, superstition, and secular humanism. I consider myself all of the following: atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, freethinker, skeptic, and nature lover. I have several published books but the mass of my writing is unpublished. I write children's fiction, poetry, essays, and several plays and radio theater shows, that are available as free downloads to be used on secular podcasts and meetings. They can be heard on Indy Freethought Radio or on YouTube “secularradiotheater”. I hope some of my writings will be of interest to like minded freethinkers who I cordially invite to respond. I am also a Darwin impersonator. I invite readers to listen to and use the Darwin script for secular purposes.
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3 Responses to Poetry Break – A few poems for your entertainment

  1. Sarah Nixon says:

    The Archaeopteryx poem is very striking! And I have to say I agree. I recently had a lecture in my Dinosaur class all about the “bird” and the importance of its discovery. It really is the missing link between dinosaurs and birds. Sometimes I’m not sure how people can refute the fossil evidence. Which is more far-fetched? The idea that dinosaurs lived, or that Satan put fossils in the ground just to confuse us stupid humans?

    • cgosling says:

      Sarah – Sounds like a great class you are taking. I am curious about the church your family attends in Indy. Are they evangelical/fundamentalist? Do they actually believe and teach that Satan made fossils to confuse and tempt true believers? Did you attend and were you taught that evolution was not true? You are correct about archaeopteryx being a missing link, which it no longer is. Usually it is now considered as a transitional fossil, between several kinds of dinosaurs and birds. In fact there were many feathered dinosaurs, many of which had no flight capabilities. Feathers may have been used for warmth, sexual attraction, and gliding, as well as flight. Ask your prof: Is it possible that all animals are transitional, between an ancestor and a descendant? The answer will be yes of course. Missing simply means most animals never left fossil remains so we don’t have complete records of them.

  2. Sarah says:

    The church my parents go to is (as I understand it) a nondenominational Church of God). Going to Sunday School there I was not taught that particular argument, but I have read about other fundamentalist sects teaching it.
    In school I was taught evolution and church creationism. As for myself, I believe in evolving species, just not sure I have enough information on different creation theories to decide that yet.
    And about Archaeopteryx, thanks for clearing that up. Maybe I wasn’t listening as well as I should have been. Oops!

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