Poems for an atheist’s funeral

Kirsten Brawn, one of our Board members, wrote the following poems for a friend’s funeral and wanted to share them. Let us know if you have your own humanist-inspired art that you’d like to share.

Having a heavenly everlasting time

Her floorboards squeak
to remind them of her pretty little atheist feet,
For years she did walk her halls
and so then the walls do anguish
As they recognise that they would no more see
Her tininess bend leviathan
as she would debate with him, in earnest
And woebegone are the furniture who cry out for their truant
Remembering well how wide her table set, and her weight upon her cushion
It’s all and all and all you know, different than religions so often suggest,
That thou must worship their temple or else,
Be damned for absent from the light of god’s eternal lovingness,
It’s not though how it is you see, the truth is that they don’t tell,
Is that after having died she’s having a heavenly everlasting time
And Tis god that, in her absence, tis god without her spirit, tis god without her joy, tis god without her chuckle, wit and her sweet face, tis god without her empathy, generosity and love, tis god that sits in hell.

Good without God

Good without God, she did epitomize this virtue
Warm hearted to the humblest that would knock upon her door
She would invite them in and pour a friendly cup of coffee
In good we trust, she always said, humans have a strong capacity for kindness
To create love within our crucible and distribute it among the poorest
I am a leaf, I recall her saying, all things die and change their properties
A buttercup absorbs buttercup, without awareness of the former
Tis not religion that brought us peace and healing here, she said
But reason and compassion
An understanding wrought through deep and impartial observation
And putting it into government
To be distributed, through care and empathy amongst the inhabitants
She had believed her happiness was wrought by man and joy among her children
This is where her sunlight and spirit were of
Yes, I am a leaf and am prepared for such a long,dark, uneventful sleep
In harmony with oblivion and the easement of the mind.

Come, join our congregation, they said. Not me, said she
Said she’d rather pass the night in pleasure chatting around the campfire
The licks of flame eating its shards of air, with friends and singing songs
The breeze of the lake and the shore’s warm sand
God may have wailed at her to believe, but she could not, could not, could not
God, should he exist, in his error then, did create something that could not honestly believe in him
A being with stout conviction as to the equality of humans, A strong drive to protect the stranger,
And held a solid confidence in the human capacity to love. Dorothy, you are a thing of beauty, God knows,
to contemplate upon you is a joy forever.

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