Apes or Angels

Humans, some say, aren’t much more than an ape—
A reasoning beast, quintessence of dust.
Others believe we’re of angelic shape.

Hungry for morsels, we scrabble and scrape,
Leaving the tree to indulge termite lust.
Humans, some say, aren’t much more than an ape.

Yet not all dwell in this feral landscape—
Their minds are free to transcend what hearts must.
Others believe we’re of angelic shape.

We squat under shadows, covet and rape,
Then flaunt our filth like a Renaissance bust.
Humans, some say, aren’t much more than an ape.

Still, there are many whose spirits escape
The region where bodies settle for crust.
Others believe we’re of angelic shape.

Though such a question makes all skeptics jape,
How could our good rise from matter unjust?
Humans, some say, aren’t much more than an ape;
I must believe we’re of angelic shape.


The Hands of Creation (Decima Italiana)

For Michelangelo

Your paintbrush said more to this earth
Of truth than any mouth or book—
Save God’s—when you drew Adam’s birth.
There he reclines, languid, more brook
Than man, a loose, watery form
Awaiting God’s fervid blessing.
Even man’s finger is listless.
Yes, the hands reveal everything:
God is reaching His hand to us;
We, like Adam, hold back, lukewarm.


Ron L. Hodges is a long-time English teacher, having taught at Oxford Academy in Cypress, California, for the past ten years. About a year ago he started writing poetry, and has had three poems published so far in Ancient Paths Literary Magazine. He lives in Orange County, California with his wife and two sons.

Featured Image: “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to mbryant@classicalpoets.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.


2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.