Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

But What of Us?

From the October 2019 Print Edition

The saints are quick to give their hearts awayAt every gentle prodding from above,And bear the scars that visit mortal clayThat dares to venture near God’s burning love.So grateful for the price that has been paidTo change mankind’s infernal destiny,They joyously accept the holy tradeOf . . . . Continue Reading »

Mary of Bethany

From the April 2019 Print Edition

In Bethany, as Jesus dines with friends,And Martha sees to it that all are fed,Her sister to the Lord alone attends,Anointing him for coming days of dread.She breaks the jar as love and duty meet;Her worldly wealth she gives no thought to spare.With precious oil she gently bathes his feet;She kisses . . . . Continue Reading »

Digging Shakespeare

From the March 2019 Print Edition

I’d chosen English lit with the intentOf studying the writings of the Bard;But I was told he wasn’t relevant,And it was not to be—I took it hard.Intriguing tales he told of kings and queensWere so alive, so perfectly expressed.Appropriation though vents many spleens—These tales must . . . . Continue Reading »

Nones on Sunday

From the November 2018 Print Edition

One day I woke up and became a None;It gave me lots more time to think and pray.I’d think about bad things religion’s done,And pray that God would now see things my way.I wasn’t like those numskulls who believedAlmighty God did not per se exist.I mainly just preferred to be relievedFrom Sunday . . . . Continue Reading »

Oh Where Was God?

From the October 2018 Print Edition

O where was God when all things fell apart;When with the fury went our hopes and dreams?We kept him at a distance from the start,And now our world was bursting at the seams.The same reports of threats we heard for years,Till background noise was all that they became,As we ignored our deeply hidden . . . . Continue Reading »

The Crowd

From the Aug/Sept 2017 Print Edition

Enticing to the coward is the crowd:It speaks what each dares not to speak alone,And compensates for fear with voices loudTo offer wisdom that it doesn’t own.With stridency, a courage is displayedWhich hadn’t been in evidence before;The shame of individuals afraidFor just a time the crowd lets . . . . Continue Reading »