gods of our making

“And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Atë by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.”
Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 1

we have need of gods
an ancient irony
like blood that needs heat
to sweat out the mysteries
to rage in revenge
to reconcile sacrifice
to repel condemnation
to simmer our gratitude
for the many wonders
as misunderstood
as all the horrors

relieve us we pray
in our righteous moments
from the sins of others
their guns, their bombs
their swords of hate
lives and livelihoods cut short
in genocides renamed –
semantics play large
in wars of loathing and
vile justifications

relieve us we pray
from children killing children
from executions in the street
from brothers killing brothers
from sisters unleashed
like the dogs of war
like a belly full of cancer
like an aorta bursting

our gods cry ‘Havoc!’
in traps set by rulers
by teachers at schools
and in places of worship
by parents at dinner table

our legs immobilized
like wolves ensnared, we chew off our feet
attempts at freedom cripple and break us

and everywhere
mouthing lies
groaning in denial
bowing to gutter rats
scraping to vultures
the false gods of our making

© 2012, poem, Jamie Dedes; Photo credit ~ Ares, the Greek God of War and Bloodlust (couldn’t find Atë) via Wikipedia by Ares Canope Villa Adriana under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.  


Jamie Dedes is a Lebanese-American poet and free-lance writer. She is the founder and curator of The Poet by Day, info hub for poets and writers, and the founder of The Bardo Group, publishers of The BeZine, of which she was the founding editor and currently a co-manager editor with Michael Dickel. Ms. Dedes is the Poet Laureate of Womawords Press 2020 and U.S associate to that press as well. Her debut collection, "The Damask Garden," is due out fall 2020 from Blue Dolphin Press.

3 thoughts on “gods of our making

  1. War is certainly more lucrative than peace, and it must be something in human nature that people are more impressed (afraid) of vengeful Gods than they are by peaceful ones. There is a cosmic balance to consider, but it makes one wonder if peace couldn’t be truly appreciated anyway, even if there is no war? Do we *need* wars to make us appreciate peace?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Corina. You are always so good about that and I appreciate that in you. Online debate is difficult, but here goes: War may be more lucrative than peace, but peace is more budget wise certainly. I wrote this poem to suggest something really simple: that we take certain behaviors and ideas and justifying them as coming from some god created in imagination, god/s without any connection to a truly loving essence/presence who does not – in my view – embody hate and may even be simply a neutral energy. We hero-worship the wrong people (gutter rats and vultures – religious extremists and politicians) who say they speak for god when they encourge war, hate, division. The poem does not suggest we need wars to make us appreciate peace but that the gods we imagine as true gods are monstrosities. We us them to justify our own monstruous ways and to allow ourselves to blame “others” for deeds in which we have a hand. “God” is used as a banner to encourage the harm we do to others and to ourselves. We humans are in the habit of TALKING to our gods (some call this prayer, which perhaps done rightly we might hope alligns us with the a benevolent essence) but mostly we pray for the wrong things/outcomes (look how each side in a war says that god is on their side!!!!) WE do not listen to the essential energy of creation by taking the time for silence. We can’t hear truth over the din our leaders make and which we echo. Rightly we should not be so sure our gods are just but, rather like Brutus in the play, we should be struggingly to balance our allegences with right action.

      Liked by 1 person

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