No Sacrifice

Before the gods, titans, and giants,
there were beings whose names are lost
in the vast passage of time. Perhaps they lived
before time in a place we cannot know.

Some believe they fought amongst themselves.
Their spilled blood formed worlds
and all the things that lived on those worlds.
Our world, our universe, is not one of those.

Some believe that they sought to create.
They fashioned worlds, created beings and life
to flourish. But these were shadows, disappointments,
failed experiments. Our universe is not one of those.

I believe there was one of those beings
that understood what was truly necessary.
He gave of himself, unfolding all that he was.
Our universe is his body, mind, and spirit.

Everything around us is alive.
The rocks may seem dead, but they are not.
Every particle of our universe is sacred,
a gift freely given, an ongoing song of love.

Those who fight are foolish and deluded.
Those who create without the gift of love fail.
We must accept more than we can know
from our lives. We must believe in stories.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the We Write Poems prompt to write about how the universe began.

And added to One Shot Wednesday.

14 thoughts on “No Sacrifice

    • Amy, well… some stories are bunk; there’s no doubt about that. But I had to tell a creation story that was about the act of creation. Stories are important, which just reminded me of that great quote by Muriel Rukeyser: “The universe is made of stories not atoms.” I must have had that subconsciously in mind as I wrote this. Thanks for reminding me of it. Hope your husband likes it.



  1. Yes, the stories are of major importance. They teach us what we need to know about what should and should not be done. They carry a healing essence not found elsewhere. I love your story of beginnings, but even more that statement about creating without love that means automatic failure. Wonderful write, Richard,



    • Elizabeth, thank you. I think we have to be careful with our words. They can heal or they can hurt. I’d rather heal and tell stories with love. I hope everyone knows that that is the place I come from, even when I’m being snarky, cynical, and irritating; if that make sense.



  2. Interesting, interesting, poem and comments both (if that’s not an awful word to employ!). It’s a more than delicate subject (well, not the subject, but maybe our response) and so all the more I like the lightness of your touch in this poem. (I especially liked the ending line of the second & third stanzas and the kind of space that opens up.)

    Stories. This is an interesting concept too (and the many ways that stories exist in thought). Just finished reading Gilgamesh (Stephen Mitchell’s translation!) and have a whole new understanding for what a story as allegory can suggest. (added to my list of poems to approach) Thanks for adding this poem too!


    • Neil, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. Thanks for noticing those ending lines for stanzas two and three. (I just don’t truck with the thought that there is something wrong with us or the universe – and that we need to be saved).

      And the ways that thought exist in stories. I’m discovering in new ways what I think, believe, and feel as I tell stories. Thanks for the reminder about Gilgamesh; that is one of my favorite stories – and I’m unfamiliar with the Stephen Mitchell translation. I’ll be looking for that one. Thanks.



  3. Solid, insightful writing, R.
    I especially appreciate “Those who fight are foolish and deluded. / Those who create without the gift of love fail.” A brilliant couplet. It’s easy to spot the foolishness of violence, but we often over look the pointlessness of “progress” devoid of soul. thanks for the reminder.


    • Ron, thanks for that. I was worried that repeating that idea in “Those who fight are foolish and deluded.” was bit too much, but I’m glad it works in conjunction with the line that follows. You say it so well, what we overlook. Thanks.



  4. Are we the product of our lore, or is lore our product? So much of lore predates our Biblical creation.

    I enjoy writing that makes me stop and think, and you keep serving it in profound doses. I too was intrigued with the repeating of the last words of stanzas two and three. Keep it up my friend.


    • Mike, thank you. You ask a chicken and egg question with lore and product. I am going to ponder that one for a while.

      Glad to hear it makes you think. I appreciate that. And your encouragement is also much appreciated. Thanks.



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