Wrestling with Faith and God – 6 Poems

the smoke billows/towards you/it’s euphoria/it’s the greatest pain/we’ve ever felt | CC via Wikimedia Commons



there is a deep breath

resonating through the walls

and I am coming closer

to catching it


not concerned with lasting

concerned with now


not before

but because of



not leaving



not fantasy


there is a deep breath

resonating through

these paper walls

not calm

but full


Ambiguity Survives

here is to hope

here is to the hope

of something after

this life bloated with

beauty and love

and unjustifiable loss


here is to the hope of god


ambiguity survives

on the broken wings of hope

struggling in a sky

heavy with heartache


and the tears outnumber

us and most things

flourishing like fire on oil

but the flood

is just bearable

and we do not drown


The End-Of-Days

the worms are

gathering en masse

desperate to praise

their worm god

sure that the End-Of-Days

is upon us


they cannot breathe between

the raindrops of this

summer storm


what sounds like

the howling wind

is really the worms

wailing as they drown:


why does rain never

fall where it is needed?


From Ashes and Stardust

it should not matter

if the sea really parted

if the bread is body

if the wine is blood

if the prophet ascended

from this rock or that

the words still move us

still fill our veins with bloody streams


even if all the books are burned

even if we all hit our heads

and cannot remember our names

we will still find the words

they will crawl up our throats

and climb out our mouths

and fill whatever we make our pages:


a phoenix risen from the ashes to find

that only ashes and stardust are left


The Giant Old White Man

when I was five

they asked me to draw God

and I was certain G-d

was an old white man

so that’s what I drew—

a giant old white man

with a long white beard and no legs

He was a ghost

gray and hovering in the sky


when I was six

my mother told me

she loved me more than god

she said

she thought God would be okay with it

and I thought so too


when I was little

I didn’t need G-d’s love

I didn’t feel warm or welcome

when I thought of the

old white man floating in the sky


I felt my family’s love

and I worshiped them




there are fires

raging in our temporal lobes


the smoke billows

towards you


it’s euphoria

it’s the greatest pain

we’ve ever felt

it is the hollow

it is the whole


and we have to keep

asking where it all

came from

and why

and if this is it


we have to keep

pushing further

digging deeper

demanding answers

we know we’ll never get


we have kept you


at the bottom of our brains


and we still don’t know

if we are picking up the pieces

or scattering more


Hannah Ehlers is a student at American University.

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