Humanist Voices in Verse

This week’s featured poems are by Zachary Bos. Zachary is administrative coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum at Boston University and serves as the advisor to the Humanists of Boston University. He is the editor of several publications including The Charles River Journal and Pusteblume, and he is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers.

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.



In the quiet bathroom after Mass I’d mull
the theology of the gut, chewing
imponderables the way one grinds cud
or a mouthful of wafer. E.g. — Where
when the host is passed down to the stomach
does the holy spirit in the cracker go?
Perhaps I’m full of partially digested ghost;
perhaps it passes through porcelain gates
to spread out unruined in myriad
small parts, shared throughout the ocean, blessing
the rotifers and water bears. Sitting
with my elbows on my thighs, my chin cupped
in my hands, this wondering always felt
blasphemous, ornamental; but not wrong.


Where does the hidden god reveal itself?
First of all, not in the river. The glow
of city lights across its burnished waves
is ignorant, unwilled. Decided by
nothing. The current is falling slowly
along an incline. It has no impulse
of its own. That shaggy embodiment
wreathed with milfoil, with his fishing net,
is how we would prefer the world, not how
it is. How is it? It is indifferent.
The water falls. The shoreline is cut back
and carried to the sea by the mouthful.
We are not blessed where we stand on the bank
by any god. If we are blessed at all. 

–Zachary Bos