Humanist Voices in Verse: Lamentations

This week’s poem “Lamentations” is by Jason Mark, a junior at Posnack High School in South Florida. He is a dedicated volunteer at South Florida Wildlife Center and a local veterinary clinic. He considers himself to be a strong proponent of humanism and advocates for social justice and animal rights.

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.


Why do they bow?
Do they bow out of belief?
Out of fear or obedience?
Do they kneel out of love or hate?

I will never understand why they bow… why they pray… why they believe…
These are not actions I despise but questions whose answers slip from my grasp
like sand falling onto an endless desert
Falling into a world I can neither fathom nor explain
Their dreams remain an existence I will never be a part of

I know I stand alone in my beliefs
I stand an individual refusing to bow for something that I do not believe
A branded heretic against the mass of pious

I know I will not bow to any god
My knees will bend only to help a human in need
To pick up a friend and lift them back on their feet
I bow only for good and service of others
I am a Humanist

—Jason Mark