Call me a fool

Roger Butts
1 min readNov 5, 2023


Testifying at the State House against the death penalty.

Today word comes that those in crisis
face starvation and apartheid.
Face neglect and suicide
And beyond that eradication.

The sun shines this morning.
I’ve no place to be.
The clouds are puffy and content.
The birds sing joy.

What to do with all of this?
For so long I’ve sung my song.
I’ve marched and written.
I’ve spoken with bullhorn and passion.

Against dehumanization.
For peace and justice.
Against that electric chair.
For the right to marry.

Against torture.
For love.
Against death.
For life.

To what end?
All seems a mess
And broken
And lost
(save those fluffy clouds and those singing birds)

I only know a few things
And I know them well:
That I will not give in to despair.
That I will not become cynical.

And that I will speak even if
My throat is sore.
I will sing even if my voice
Cracks and warbles.

And that I will bask, bask
In the beauty of being alive.
It is foolish, I realize.
Count me a fool.

Call me a fool in love
With life and a vision
Of beloved community
That will not let me go.



Roger Butts

Author, Seeds of Devotion. Unitarian Universalist. Ordained 20 years.