This poem is from the December 3, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from janetmiles and wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "opinions" square on my 11-26-13 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.
There are many different opinions
about what happens when
a deity is no longer worshipped,
once the last believer dies
or ceases to believe.
Some say the gods, too,
die with their followers;
others that they take on
new names and roles.
But they forget, the humans,
because they are bound by time --
that not everyone is so bound.
To the gods, all times are Now.
All worshippers are alive,
all belief is thriving.
There are only lulls in attention,
when they might retire for a time
in the Lounge Eternal,
resting in the fond embrace
of those who know them best.
There will come new voices
as time spools around itself, crying --
"Brigid, goddess of my ancestors,
bring me inspiration!"
"Hotei, they say you'll give me luck
if I rub your belly, and maybe
it's just superstition but what the hell."
"Bacchus, you may be just a statue,
but it's said you're the god of booze,
so here -- have one on me!"
"Nimue, help me show them
that I'm a girl and I can too."
"Ganesha, remover of obstacles,
all I'm asking is for the damn couch
to fit through the front door."
"Coyote, god of fuckups,
take me because no one else will."
The gods chuckle and rise to the occasion,
knowing that people may have different opinions
but most of them come down to
whomever answers the call.
* * *
Brigid is an Irish triple goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft.
Hotei or Budai stands for abundance and happiness.
Bacchus is the Roman god of wine and revelry.