wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                                Incarnate 2 of 20  HOME 


A brief history of God

You are
not who we think 
you are.   

It was simple at first: 
you made stuff in a week,
lived up a mountain 
or in a small box,
throwing down thunderbolts, 
putting up rainbows,
losing your temper, 
indulging the kids—

        then the mountain was climbed,    
        the box was lost, 
        the lightning conducted, 
    the rainbow parsed,
        the week became endless, 
        the kids grew up spoiled

so you relocated 
above the domed sky,
reserving your judgements, 
making careful notes,
stepping down 
for the odd guest appearance,
a locust plague here, 
a sea parted there

        then the telescope 
        couldn’t pick you out
        from a lonely world 
        in the empty night   
        of a sky too big 
for you to hide in

so you found a career 
as an engineer,
the absent watchmaker 
winding the wheels;
poet and priest
guarding your workmanship,
the key in your hand 
for when time is up

        then gravity, 
the main attraction,
        put our feet on the ground 
        and the moon in the air:
        the force was with us—   
        we beamed you out

so you came to haunt 
body and mind,
the great universal 
intangible soul,
a moral principle 
making the difference,
the cosmic will, 
sustainer of life—

        then the microscope found 
        the unruly gene
        in its random mutation
        left no room for choice:
        the fittest survived—
        you were well out of shape

so you slipped away 
to the gaps in the schedules
with alien abductions, 
sťance and bent spoons,
a hypothesis buried 
in science’s pending tray,
personal friend 
of the mad and the sad—

        then Einstein and Bohr    
        showed us twice and for all   
        with a relative bound 
        and a quantum leap
        that the truth is in 
        the beholder's eye

so you became 
a point of view,
an option plan 
for long-term reward,
a custom-designed 
one more diversion 
to lose us again—

        Big Daddy, 
        CEO of the universe,
        cosmic designer, 
        ghost in the machine,
        lunatic fringe, 
made in everyone’s image—  

we've followed you 
in cool pursuit
to a certain place 
at a certain time,
too easily fooled 
by your many disguises:
you don’t let the grass grow 
beneath your pierced feet— 

        leaving at last 
        your human touch,
        son, brother, 
subversive, teacher,
        hero, victim, 
        corpse and then

one thing’s for sure, 
whoever we think 
you are
you are

not who we think 
you are.

© Godfrey Rust, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for details of permissions for use.