Tag Archives: Atheism

Easter Sunday, 2017

I spent the morning
without Jesus
lingering like he used to
on the outskirts
of my sinful heart.
Now that I’ve cracked him
like an Easter egg
I can enjoy all the candy
of my imagination
without wondering
if he’s been peeking
into my private windows
as if some stone
had been rolled away.
And all the forgiveness
in the world
will not remove the
joy I feel for every sin
I’ve committed
in the name of love.









Later in your life
after you’ve become
a closeted
functioning alcoholic
you realize
you’d been too hard
on all those folks
you knew to be dependent
on their loved ones
to make sense
of their happiness
and worth.
You’d been too hard
on everyone.
Even the dishes
waiting in the sink
tell you how much
trouble it is
to be so necessary
and so abused—
and you couldn’t agree
more unless
the comment came
from someone you loved
who was real
and sober—
and recovering from
the daunting chore
of giving up
the delusion
that they had it all
under some kind
of complete control.


DeMaris Gaunt


“My god”
was never something I said
when something shocked
or amazed or angered me—
back when I believed
in that thing which was once
at the center of my imagination—
that thing I thought
had the power to crush me
with an intelligence
I was too stupid to understand.

“My god.”
Still, it’s something I’ll never say—
for different reasons now.
The fear of punishment
for taking the lord’s name in vain
is as potent as the fires of hell—
which means there’s no power
in that phrase and no power
in that awful place
that exists only in the imaginary
glitches of our intelligent minds.


DeMaris Gaunt



The printing press.
But long before
there was the wheel
and all those tools
born in fire.
Sharp things first
then bullets and coins—
two devices
with a kind of power
to separate life
from the living
almost as completely
as those pesky
that insist
they are real
and resist amputation.
And even though
some of our
best inventions—
like razor blades
and scissors
could easily cut out
the offending pages
of history
there’s still no technology
to boost common sense
or to exorcise
that common belief
that we are not
the creators of
every single one
of our capricious


DeMaris Gaunt

Little Boy, Casualty of War – I Won’t Forget You

Oh humans—
what have we done

It was never enough
for us to eat
and love
and admire

We had to take
and own

We had to create gods
that could give us
authority to kill

We even turned
the wheel
into something
spinning forever
out of our complete


DeMaris Gaunt



Three Colors

“There is more than one way to see the world,”
is what I learned, finally, in college.  A painting class.
Before I heard my professor speak those words,
I lived in a tiny home with tiny parents—
and we went to a tiny church with tiny ideas.
I didn’t have permission to peek outside the doors
of my indoctrination – and to admit an innocent desire
to see the depth and degrees of what is human
would be enough to revoke my hard earned ticket
to the promised land.  But there it was – permission
granted by this man who could turn three colors
into a kingdom of sunlight and shadows!
Anxious, I went home with a thing more dangerous
than weapons – more hazardous than all my fears.
I had a new appetite.  Large, guiltless and brave.
I had new eyes that saw my dull gray world as bright.

DeMaris Gaunt

“Figure at a Window”
Salvador Dali, 1925


Somewhere else
churches are burning
and the humans
here in my house
grit their teeth and
shake their heads
and close their eyes
and listen to reports
of what it means
to live in fear
and what it feels like
to be knocked down
by history rising up
on the backs of cowards
who strike a match
which might ignite
but will never consume
the glow of unity
or the light of peace.

DeMaris Gaunt