A Question of Faith

The crowd cheered on their betters’ masquerade,
Emotions seethed as memes were hatched and grew;
Elijah watched as Ba’al’s prophets prayed.

Reporters for the 70’s news were paid
To write an ice age might be overdue;
The crowd cheered on their betters’ masquerade.

The press says now we’re making glaciers fade,
What made opinions change? What hunch will do?
Elijah watched as Ba’al’s prophets prayed.

The Multiverse explains how we were made,
If given time the facts will show up too;
The crowd cheered on their betters’ masquerade.

The church denied Copernicus and made
Wise Galileo suffer for his view;
Elijah watched as Ba’al’s prophets prayed.

What does it mean to be objective? Weighed
By faith could some ideas negate what’s true?
The crowd cheered on their betters’ masquerade;
Elijah watched as Ba’al’s prophets prayed.


The Venus Trap

Sleek Mata Hari’s makeup primed her mask;
It smiled and slowly blinked as shadowed light
Played in her eyes when she would whirl and bask

In men’s regard and tempt their hungry sight.
One day she glimpsed pale silent time with scythe
In hand and paused to face eternal night:

Her future might contain a child, but with
What man should she conceive? A sturdy norm
With flaws like ancient Greece’s blacksmith myth?

Or maybe Mars’s fierce seductive form?
A risk – she might’ve hoped that she’d be kept
Protected from her roused admiring swarm.

What tribute did time make her hand accept?
A steady pace or show where tigers leapt?


Charles Bauer resides in Chapel Hill, NC and is a salesman for a commercial carpet manufacturer. 

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8 Responses

  1. Charlie Bauer

    Dear Charlie —

    Thanks for you kind words and hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    Best wishes,


  2. James A. Tweedie

    Charlie, Both poems are well constructed and either told a good story (The Venus Trap) or raise profound and difficult questions (a Question of Faith). Who are we to cheer for these days? Scientists? Religious leaders? Political leaders? How are we to tell the difference between the priests/prophets of Ba’al and Elijah? Who are we to look up to as our “betters?” and who among them are merely participating in a deceptive masquerade? Choices must be made and, as Luther once said, we must sometimes “sin boldly,” when choices between good and evil, right and wrong are difficult to discern. Or, as Lincoln so profoundly put it, “To do the right as God gives us to see the right.” In the end, I will put my faith in God and cheer for the things that God clearly stands for. Regardless of the future outcome of climate change predictions and regardless of how the current political confusion plays itself out, I will continue to do my best to “act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with my God,” and “love my neighbor as myself.” Sad to say, these days it is not always clear how even to live out these things! Great poem. Deep thoughts. Great questions. No easy answers. Thanks for the well-written provocation.

    • Charlie Bauer


      Thanks for your great reaction to “A Question of Faith”! I couldn’t have asked for more. I completely agree with your desire to: “…continue to do my best to “act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with my God,” and “love my neighbor as myself.”

      With respect and admiration,


  3. David Watt

    “The Venus Trap” captures the undoubted allure of Mata Hari, the choices she was faced with, and leaves an impression of vulnerability. This makes it an effective and thought-provoking poem.

    “A Question of Faith” also contained much food for thought.

    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you David! Your thoughts are very appreciated.

      Best wishes,


  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    “The Venus Trap” is in iambic pentameter, but line 3 does not scan. It sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise creditable poem.

    All Bauer needs is to add another foot to that deficient line. I would suggest:

    “Played in her eyes when she would whirl and bask”

    And please don’t tell me that the deficient line is there for some profound psychological or theoretical reason. I’ve heard that excuse too many times from poets.

    • Charlie Bauer

      Dear Mr. Salemi,

      I have to admit to being mortified at making such an elementary mistake and greatly appreciate you pointing it out; it will definitely be corrected.

      Best wishes,



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