The Theist And The Blade Of Grass

I don’t have any time today, so here’s something from 2-1/2 years ago, that nobody read back then:

John Holbo of Crooked Timber has newly acquired a wonderful old book, in which he finds a poem, “The Atheist and the Acorn“. Go read it! Then maybe my little verse will make more sense.

Methinks this “God” is strangely made
For something of such worth,
An introspective theist said
As plucked he up a single blade
Of grass, from off the earth:

Behold, quoth he, this tiny thing,
This single blade of grass,
Enough to make Walt Whitman sing—
They grow in millions every spring
Unnoticed as we pass.

But God counts every single leaf,
Each hair upon your head
(For bald men, he just counts their grief)
The reason that we know? In chief,
It’s what the Bible said.

But where is God when good men die
In wars, fought in His name?
He counts the grass—He can’t deny
He hears the wounded moan and cry—
He sits there, to His shame.

He mustn’t think; he mustn’t doubt,
This theist on the lawn;
His worship must remain devout;
One thought that he might do without
And poof—his God is gone.

He cannot help but smile and nod
It feels so good; so right.
He’d looked upon the face of God
And found it merely a façade—
And now he’s seen the light.


  1. says

    I don’t know, your version doesn’t have anyone getting poked in the eye, which I understand is the basis of good verse.

  2. San Ban says

    I have never yet had a satisfactory answer from a theist to this problem. Nothing that doesn’t amount to special pleading. It is the definitive reason I am an atheist and would not worship any of the gods I have yet heard of even if their existence could be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt!

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