Tag Archives: debate

A lover’s question: a débat

He says, “I cannot find the words.”
She says, “Well, you just did;
and furthermore, it’s very clear
what’s been done and been hid.
There is no sense in acting like
you’d sooner up and die;
it is not poison, my dear boy.”
He says, “Crocodiles cry.”

She says, “You babble on of love,
citing eternity
while wasting moments and your breath.
What is the point? Tell me.”
He says, “Beyond the scope of time,
far past this mortal coil,
those near death moments still live on;
they will not rot or spoil.”

“And love…what else is worth such work?
Tho’ you’re hard to convince,
there is no grander cause for death,
nor much hard evidence
that anything we try will last
or stand when we are gone.
What else would you have us enjoin,
what bone to gnaw upon?”

She says, “Although you may be right,
which pains me much to say,
we travel at the speed of now
where yesterday, today
and what will be are much the same.
So your eternity
exists like its own Schrödinger,
to be or not to be.”

“So love, no matter what it is,
imagined or for real,
is all we have between us here
to know, to touch, to feel?”
He says, “It may be nothing,
but without it, we are lost.”
She says, “Convince me, if you can.”
He says, “But at what cost?”

“My love escapes beyond the gates
you place around your heart.”
She says, “You may yet find a key,
and with your words, your art,
melt this cold chill from off my bones.”
He says, “Oh, if I could;
just let my love’s bright embers spark
and catch upon your wood.”

She says, “I love you, well enough;
let this brave thing endure.”
He says, “For all the rest of time,
so sweet, so sad, so pure.”
She says, “You have convinced me;
take your property, my heart.”
He says, “You’re wrong, for that one’s mine;
you’ve had it from the start.”

Well, what of that? What do you think?
Who wins such a debate?
No wonder even gods lament
that nature leaves to fate
the future, when it is quite clear
that love has little chance
against the intellect who holds
themselves against romance.

12 DEC 2012

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Speech Between the Fallen – a cywyyd deuair hyrion

Must I explain it once more?

Try hard to fight the boredom
that most likely will ensue
the moment you think useless
any viewpoint but your own,
and on your cragged and stony
field, let germinate a seed
of mine. I am not pleading
with you; I have friends enough
without you: fine and tougher
allies than you’ll ever make,
trees that strong winds have shaken
but whose roots remain well sunk.

This no rambling, drunken
speech from one who laughs too loud;
nor cryptic verse of clouded
rhyme enmeshed with metaphor.

I’ve said it now so poorly
that it makes no sense at all.

How low we both have fallen!

10 Dec 2012

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With an Unarmed Foe

You call those claws? Withdraw those nubs,
and come back when your talons grow;
I have no time to make retort
against the feeble likes of you.

You say the world agrees with you?
Well, that just proves the world a fool,
that would admire a steaming mass
of horse manure, long as it’s fresh.

You say you’ve friends to state your cause
in fisticuffs and bloody games;
I’m not surprised. Who was it said
of violence, “dullard’s last resort”?

Call off your hounds, your hawks, your shrews
(they bore me beyond reason’s edge),
unless you mean to (and you don’t)
give me respect you have not learned.

05 AUG 2007

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The Camel in the Room

Tonight, I answered questions
from a survey-taking girl
who wished to know where I weighed in
on God’s place in the world.
The purpose for the questions
seemed to me a bit unclear;
more fodder for pro-Christian ranting
or control, I fear,
but I took part, and did my best,
although the answers seemed
to only fit such a small range
of my spiritual scene.
She asked after my parents,
and the job I thought they did;
if moral guidance and the Bible
formed me as a kid.
I told her it was by example
that my parents taught;
they did not spell out right and wrong,
and certainly did not
expect that I would blindly follow
their belief or creed,
but rather taught integrity
and finding what you need.
It’s odd – responsibility
seemed not to be a part
of the survey; I guess
that would put horse after the cart.
Instead, did I attend a church,
or pray, or fellowship,
believe that Jesus Christ had sinned?
At that, my kindness slipped,
and I said, how would I know that?
I never met the man;
he lived two thousand years ago.
And if you think you can
believe what’s printed up in books
and sold like blessed snake oil,
there’s not much hope for anyone
escaping evil’s coil.
I strongly disagree that evil
is personified
beyond the selfish, clutching hands
who prey on those outside
the mainstream, where the status quo
dictates that blame be found
in others first, before yourself.
You seek God? Look around
and make the world a better place
by caring for more than
your own private and shallow soul.
Try that on, if you can.

Whose God? Whose Bible?
Whose church service
would you have me grace,
when everyone I meet has
good and evil in their face?

Truth is a pathless land;
it wanders beyond black and white.
To posit otherwise is like
a blind man, in the night
giving directions to a man
who cannot hear a word.
One’s map is forged, the others’ blank;
both seem a bit absurd.

12 JUL 2005

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On Writing

Why is that writers — and it doesn’t matter which writer you choose — at some point in their chosen vocation end up writing about writing? And why do non-writers see that as so unusual, so self-centered and ultimately circular? You don’t question a saint immersed in their version of divinity that can only talk rationally (well, can talk at any rate) about God. LIkewise, philosophers love nothing better than to talk, discourse, put to paper in thousand-page tomes, those thoughts that ellucidate their love of knowledge. Granted, in all these cases, the conversation is limited by the frame-of-reference of the listener on one side, and more importantly, by the frame-of-reference of the speaker or writer on the other side. Writers write about writing because that’s who they are, that is their morphology, their modus operandi. Project managers look at things from the framework, the guidelines, of project management — efficiency, elimination of redundant information, structure and reporting relationships — as a tool to hone their own basis for evaluating life in terms of budget, schedule and quality. Of all the great characters of Fiction, most if not writers themselves of Poetry or Fiction to some degree, at least are prodigious letter writers. They have a need, or rather, the writer creating them, has a need to extend their own meager gitts into tangential relationship with a world that is more or less under their control. Granted, if you ascribe to the belief that all life is pre-ordained, that we choose our parents, our upbringing, our vocation and ultimately our destination, it’s as if the book has already been written — but there is no skipping ahead chapters, or skimming through to the end to see what happens, in the book of life. We are fated, if by nothing else, to the turning of pages one at a time, chapter by chapter, one single word lain in line with a countless stream of those that have come before, and those that will follow.

In that sense, I suppose, the writer, over all other occupations save for the marytr or saint, has a more distinct advantage to many others. A painter, for example, who tries to talk about painting using painting itself is likely to be swamped in a surreal, imagist, dada world that contains a dangerous degree of self-similarity. Likewise, the Musician, who tries to convey their thoughts about Music in the idiom of Music must limit themselves to communicating in this way to those who are also Musicians, and actually, that are Musicians of the same order as themselves. The saint has a more direct line of approach, in that particularly in the monotheistic traditions, there are only two goals at the outset of the path — to become a saint, like themselves, or a minister. To do, or to preach. All other positions are like half-way houses on the road to salvation, and are not among the prescribed courses outlined so nebulously in their Great Books. There is no place in the structure of religion for those who require others to cajole them into action. The very act of salvation demands much more of the indiividual that passive participation. The writer, like the saint, relies upon something greater than themselves to prove their point for them — and in both cases, it is the Word.

So much is determined by the words we experience during our childhood, during early education, in the books we read (or don’t read). To not have a word for something is to exclude that concept from your worldview. Because to live life, you’ve got to read from the Book of Life — except this book has not yet been written, so far as you know, because you are only capable of glimpsing perhaps a paragraph or two ahead. Most of the text is hidden, by the page you’ve just flipped past, or by the unknown vast number of pages yet to be turned.

The different between the saint and the writer, then, is that sense of co-creation. The saint waits patiently for the next page to be revealed by the Author to which they owe allegiance, devote their lives to the understanding of. The writer, on the other hand, sees the next page as a challenge that must be shaped, crafted; not reliant upon an external source to provide the entertainment, the knowledge, the insight and character development. Writing, then, is a pagan religion. It is about power-with, not power-over.

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