Tag Archives: agnosticism

Church Bells

On hearing the bells chime
I think on time.
Although there is no
Clock in the church tower
To measure my brief hour.

There Are No Gods

There are no gods.
Men are but sods
In the end
My friend.

Yet we strive
To stay alive.
And some pretend
That there are gods.
But we are sods
In the end
My friend.

Though, the poet’s work may survive
Long after his eyes
Have closed.
And, who knows,
Perchance he may find, at his end
That we are more than mere

Yet I fear
That there are no gods.
And we are but sods
In the end
My friend.

The Tape

I can not escape
This constant tape
Running in my head.

When I am dead
The words said
Will go
I know
Not where,
Other than those
That from paper stare
At my readers from the printed page.

I shall be beyond rage
Or any other emotion,
Lost in a great ocean
Of what?
Shall I know it not?
The tape will, finally, stop


You were going to evensong.
I wanted to go along
But felt shy
To ask (I don’t know why).

An agnostic sitting in a pew
Next to you,
That wouldn’t do!
Though I know
That I wouldn’t be the first sceptic to attend
And pretend

Our life here is brief
And religion softens grief
For the believer knows
That he goes
To a place
Where God’s grace
As sweet water does fall
On all.

In the singing of hymns
We forget our sins
And cough due to the dust
From ancient books,
While God looks
With a frown
For he knows our lust …

Perhaps I will
Next time go along
To evensong
And perchance find a still
Place where God’s grace
Does fall
On all.
Though it may not be so
Nonetheless I shall go
To evensong.

Happy Christmas!

I would like to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas. May your Christmas be full of peace and joy.

My own view of Christmas is best summed up by the poet, Thomas Hardy, in his poem “The Oxen”. As with Hardy, I would go down to the “barton” “hoping it might be so”.

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,
“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.


“Hark the herald angels sing”
The Salvation Army band play
As I walk through Victoria station today.

The thing
Is that I want to believe.
The music half carries me away
And I grieve
That I can not pray
Other than in a formulistic way
Where words are heard by none but me.
Or (o distant hope
That helps men cope)
Perhaps by a being
(All seeing)
Who I can not understand
Let alone command.

Can I Pray for You?

“Excuse me, can I pray for you?”

“Yeah, do what you like”!

There I was, on my way home earlier this evening, when a random stranger accosted me (and I responded), in the manner set-out above.

Some may interpret my reply as brusque, perhaps even rude. However I am blind and a guide dog user and my gut instinct screamed “this man is a religious zealot who believes that by praying for me he will, with god’s assistance, help me in regaining my eyesight”.

I don’t have a problem with religion. If religious belief gives a person a sense of wellbeing and (hopefully) makes them live a good life, then I am all in favour of religion.

I also believe that if religion helps believers to cope with the death of a loved one (due to their belief that the person who has passed away has gone to a better place), then I have no right to disabuse them of that conception, as to do so would be cruel.

Furthermore, as a child/teenager, I derived tremendous pleasure from the traditions associated with religion, including the singing of hymns and the sense of peace I gained from being in the school chapel.

I would describe myself as an agnostic (rather than an atheist), so have no anti-religion axe to grind.

No, what I object to is people (religious or otherwise) ramming their ideas down the throats of others.

Indeed I have experienced equal annoyance when being brow beaten by atheists who insist in disparaging people of religious belief.

If you don’t like religion you are, of course perfectly entitled to your point of view, but please don’t corner me in the pub and ram your dogma (which is equally as unpleasant as that of the religious zealot) down my throat as, quite frankly I wish to enjoy a quiet pint without being lectured by a saloon bar bore.

The above should not be taken as indicating an unwillingness on my part to engage in friendly debate on religion or, indeed any other subject. I enjoy discussion with open minded individuals.

What I object to is having a particular view rammed down my throat by those who are not prepared to listen to counter arguments.

I defend the right of people to hold inflexible views on religion or any other topic. However I also stand up for my absolute right not to be asailed by zealots, religious or otherwise.