Tag Archives: faith

Only Our Effort: villanelle

I don’t believe that gods watch us at all,
or bother with our lives in any way;
only our effort makes or breaks our fall.

Perhaps it gives us hope, such folderol,
or cheats fear-mongers of their gruesome play.
I don’t believe that gods watch us at all.

The truth is that no matter who we call,
if answers come, it’s not because we pray.
Only our effort makes or breaks our fall.

We find no mule is kicking in that stall,
just empty promise of reward, someday.
I don’t believe the gods watch us at all.

Some say that god’s an ocean, us, salt dolls;
that finding the divine, we melt away.
Only our effort makes or breaks our fall.

From dust we come, and back to dust we crawl;
there is no proof of any other way.
I don’t believe that gods watch us at all;
only our effort makes or breaks our fall.

07 JUN 2017

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Art is required

If you would this sad world improve: a battle cease, a mountain move, or seek to build up or destroy a single thought of fear or joy, there is one place alone to start. You must teach all your children art.

Imagination is the key.

By thoughts alone there come to be great mysteries, faith and belief in gods and demons, kings and chiefs; in justice and equality, in separating I and Thee.

So teach the arts, and music, too, in your religion, path or school. To have adherents worth a damn, they must imagine what “I AM” you would propose designed the world, created life, or wrote the rules.

Imagination is required.

Without it, none can be inspired to see beyond their own small selves, or care for something else that dwells beyond the sight and smell and touch; and such a life is not worth much. It does not toil, nor hope nor try, imagining no reason why, nor answer worth the seeking out.

Art teaches balance: faith and doubt; without it, gods are merely rules: like architecture without tools.

Teach art to all your children, then; for they must learn how to pretend if they would use your sacred texts for more than mindless genuflects or rote performance of some rite that without teeth, has lost its bite.

Imagination is the key.

Without it, all gods cease to be. Existence becomes drudge and trial, an endless chasm of denial where anything we do not see does not exist and can not be.

05 MAY 2010

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Beyond Faith and Belief

Should you and I want to discuss
the ins and outs of our belief
(how one way suits and others don’t),
let’s keep it to the point, and brief,
and leave those things like faith behind.

For faith and reason do not meet;
the one without the other fills
quite different needs: pure faith exists
to carry us between effects
for which we find no logic’s cause.

And reason? That’s the evidence
that each will use to prove their case
(and often, when intents diverge,
can point so many different ways
and then make liars of either side.

But you and I, unless we hate,
can talk about our firm beliefs;
and find perhaps some middle ground
where our perceptions may give way
to solid ground, instead of air.

But hate? What good is that to us,
if what we dream we can achieve
is something more than us and them,
beyond the blame we both should share,
some kind of balance, some small peace?

Let’s talk, and leave such fools behind
that would become what they despise;
instead, let’s listen for a while
and let our voices, strained with shouts,
take time to heal before we speak.

15 SEP 2008

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A Million Years

Just like we’ve done for a million years,
we strike out blindly in the dark in fear.
Some use rocks or bombs, that’s their choice;
me, I use music, my words, my voice.

We each know nothing, but take on faith
that truth comes from an honest face;
and when that message becomes a lie,
we use our darkness to hide disgrace.

Just like we were living in those caves:
we fear and worship the ones’ who’re brave
enough to venture out in the mist,
who tell us monsters just don’t exist.

But we know better; it couldn’t be
that we alone keep us from being free.
So there be monsters, alive and well;
on one side, Heaven, the other, Hell.

Just like we started. Doesn’t it seem
a million years, a million dreams
would make some difference, help us to grow
beyond our fear of “I don’t know.”?

The truth is simple: there’s nothing more
than what we make it, and that’s for sure.
What work we’re given is to survive
Another million, ’til we arrive.

03 AUG 2006

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By Faith Alone

Religion is not the enemy; it is just a tool
employed by those who would control
and those who seek to rule
by any means to make it seem
as if this world is just a dream.

It’s not great evil or great good;
it does exactly as it should,
considering why it was made:
to keep in silence, and afraid
to challenge why the poor remain
and their hard lives
are filled with pain.

For if this world’s a proving ground,
it should be so for all;
instead, it’s playground for the rich,
and workhouse for the small
who’re told that they’ll inherit
the whole next world, in due time.
And the powerful are happy
as long as each week, in long lines,
their labor force goes willingly
to hear how they should wish
for more of the short end of the stick
and fill the offering dish.

To know is to have learned it,
and by use, to understand.
To believe is just to claim to know,
by learning second-hand.
But faith is more: believing
in the absence of all facts,
or when facts contradict belief
or are against it stacked.

And that’s the tool religions use
to subjugate the throng:
convincing you something is true
when sense tells you it’s wrong,
belittling your lack of faith
when you express some doubt
that those in power should be there
and you should be left out.

19 MAY 2006

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Not Much of Everything

What is belief except a means to reach
beyond the limits safe within our grasp
to learn from the unknown what it may teach?
If in that fertile darkness, courage fails,
as well as our illusions of defense,
what is there but belief until night pales?

Can faith alone provide, as some suppose,
sufficient armor against what we fear:
a deep pervading loneliness that grows
with every hour, behind our cheerful smiles;
a nagging doubt that we are each alone;
that substance fails, and there are merely styles?

It is belief that is our mooring rock:
the tenets that we hold as true and sure,
that mark us individuals, and shock
those who either grasp at fashion’s whims,
or sip from here or there, like butterflies;
the book of life we choose to read, not skim.

But separate belief from life, and it becomes
a rigid set of chains that bind the soul,
that does not fuel, but instead starts to numb
the senses to the underlying truth:
that what we see is only a small part,
akin to how old age is known to youth:

A lantern in the dark, but not the light;
a drop of canteen water, not the spring;
a packet of dry crackers, but not grain;
a piece, not very much, of everything.

18 OCT 2005

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Like the World Does Not Know

If all the world would find you lacking grace
and see in every thought and act some fault,
behind the smile that lights up your sweet face
discovering some dark and bitter vault,

if some belittle and would treat you poor
because your heart is open, reaching out,
believing it a weakness, nothing more,
or cast on your intentions scorn and doubt,

have faith that I have never been deceived
by those nay-saying cynic tongues that bite,
and will not place my trust in any voice

that speaks ill of you and would be believed.
When I look in your eyes, I know what’s right,
and choosing you, know love to be my choice.

09 SEP 2003

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