Humanist Voices in Verse: Hank Rodgers

This week’s featured poem is by Hank Rodgers. Hank is a retired trial court administrator and lives in Southern California. He is a lifetime humanist and longtime member of the American Humanist Association. You can reach him at

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.

A Secure Homeland Christmas 

While our brave soldiers stand and fight,
Where they’ve been ordered, wrong or right;
Let’s stand with them and bring them home.
As sons and husbands they belong

With us this Christmas. Life and limb
Not risked for civil war or whim
Of rich old men, imperial greed,
Religious strife or naked need

Of peoples poor and, yes, oppressed
By tyrants first our friends, then dressed
As foes. Our strategies, intrigues,
Whose costs have brought us to our knees

To pray we’ll learn to covet most,
New-buttressed borders, guarded coast.
Still, while building massive power,
Against all future need for our

Great Country’s fair defense, response;
With empty but clean hands, for once,
For those who would allow us peace.
Let freedom-fighters hate the least

A state that sets example well;
Permitting all to try and tell
Of other hopeful ways and means —
No secret plans to hinder dreams

That may succeed, or fail and fall.
Our human history tells us all, 
We must keep leaders on short leash —
And soldiers home, our Christmas wish.

—Hank Rodgers