Today's poem is by Richard Cecil

Intelligent Design

Before I bought my Code-a-Phone I wondered
why people kept believing in a God
who never answered or returned their calls.
But now, as my machine thwarts, once again,
the Extortionist Police Benevolent Fund
by picking up on the fourth ring and saying,
"I'm out please leave a message," I see the light:
God does exist and he's a lot like me.
When He was young, He knew a married couple
He talked with every day, but when they moved
and started having children—one a killer—
He stopped looking forward to their calls,
since they'd have only bad news to report,
followed by a plaintive cry for help.
Now multiply that couple by three billion,
two thirds of whom are hungry and oppressed,
and you can see God's problem—worse than mine,
since there's one chance in several hundred thousand
my caller wants to offer something good,
such as a gig in Florida next winter,
while, God knows, every prayer's a plea
for food or money or a cure for cancer.
Even prayers couched as gratitude
or praise are baited hooks, like World Wildlife's
'Thanks for your contribution' letter stuffed
with another contribution envelope,
so that the more you give the more you're asked.
How many seals and polar bears should you save?
If I were God, I'd save them all except
the seals that polar bears require as food—
or, better yet, I'd teach bears to eat plants
But nothing grows on ice, so cancel that.
How quickly doing good gets tangled up!
Separating predators from prey
means starving cats, which is out of the question,
but so is letting antelope get eaten.
So I write checks to the World Wildlife Fund,
but turn off Nature specials, which depict
bloodthirsty animals and greedy people.
God's like me, not indifferent
to suffering, just tired of being pestered
day and night by fresh appeals for help
until He put Himself on the Do Not Call List,
from which charities are not exempt
in heaven, as they are down here on earth.
For charities are not allowed to pray
to God to fix the messes people make,
but they may call me twice a day to ask
for money to do good—but not enough
to make a difference to our ruined planet,
so well designed by God, except for us.
The only way He can correct the earth
is to wipe us out. So God's gone deaf,
never visits, will not answer prayers.
He could create another flood, like Noah's,
but He would rather leave it up to us
to redesign the Earth without the people
so importunate and ravenous
they ruin it for great white sharks and tigers,
lovely creatures with modest appetites,
predators who don't know how to pray.

Copyright © 2009 Richard Cecil All rights reserved
from New Madrid
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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