Five Thousand Dead Gods

No god I know is still alive –
all five thousand and seven
appear to have died.

The great god Huitzilopochtli
led the Aztecs’ divine pack –
but He departed awhile back.

Zeus was fun, and had His run,
but while disguised as a swan,
they say, His neck got wrung.

Pluto – God of the Underworld,
offended the ladies of Hades,
and got buried in his own Hell.

Thor, I’m told, was big and bold,
but going out without a cloak,
they say, He died of the cold.

And ghosts of dead Indian gods
can’t even haunt a decent tepee,
and many die on late night T.V.

No prisoners tremble on the altar
when their beating hearts are torn
to join Tezcatlipoca in the sky.

And no children scream as they
are loaded onto the simple machine
that feeds them to Moloch’s fire.

And for ancient Greece’s Dionysus,
no drums sound, no flute plays –
but, oh, weren’t those the days !

The goddesses, too, we must include,
for all were dear to some, and
lived in our hearts until the time had come.

There was Athena , Gaia, and Kore,
Xochiquetzal, Minerva, and Astarte,
Ixtab, Kuan Yin, and Kali of course.

Five thousand gods and goddesses –
may be ten or a hundred fifty thousand
or more, there might have been.

But the goddesses and gods have allg
one, one by one, until there are none
but those that are still willed alive.

-Gods and goddesses kept alive
by people still believing – still
trusting – in their own creations.

Pinocchio becomes god of the wood,
while Pygmalion falls on his knees
before his goddess of stone, Galatea.

We remember the Loving Mother
and the Father the All-Mighty
looming large in an infant’s eyes.

For each girl-woman makes the God
she craves and needs – then kneels
before Him and says, “Oh, please!

“And each boy-man makes himself
a Goddess that he wishes,
giving a Mother’s hugs and kisses.

And older men and women tend
to make our gods with
wrinkled brow and constant pout.

Still we always make our gods
to look a lot like me and you –
one head, one mouth, two eyes.

But the god of song birds flies,
and the gods of all the fishes
must swim through ocean skies.

The god of cattle may be a bull,
or just maybe it’s a cow –
I can’t hope to settle that now.

But I am well informed by
one who ought to know:
the god of dogs is a bitch!

God laughs ? Not on your life !
The joke’s on us – but I’m told
She’s heard this joke before !

This poem is fromPrayer to a Dead God :125 Poems,“published in January of 2001 by North American International, and available from online book sellers.

Brought To You By- Sikandar Kumar Mehta

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