The End of Faith

Poet's Notes

--ending with lines by James Taylor and Kenneth Rexroth

Become a Premium Member and post notes and photos about your poem like Robert Ronnow.

Two thoughts come to mind this morning.
The deficiencies in our systems of governance–local, global–
and the first two pages of The End of Faith
in which he mistakes acts of war for religious acts
but recognizes understanding the workings of the world
is not the same as knowing the unknowable.

Every new twinge provokes fear
but what is there to fear? That one won’t live forever?
The year of a man is the day of an inchworm
and 267 years on a reverse-rotating Venus.
A billion of anything is a lot
unless it’s the distance one must traverse to look at God.

How much silence, or tinnitus, can you handle?
A chipmunk cannot for long stand still.
Once the twinge passes I’m off to the next task:
building a constituency for this compassion, that solution.
The dialogue starts with a question. To know the question
is almost certainly to find an answer.

Conflating questions is the commonest of logic errors.
No negotiation unless the violence ends.
Why not talk while we fight?
We can always kill, torture or assassinate between conversations.
Justice, or retribution if you want,
can remain on the table even after we achieve understanding.

Nature is my religion, I know no other,
and community is my church. The sacrament
is policy debate. I attend church everyday. 
Our jobs are hymns (the classifieds a hymnal)
and payment for services rendered is sung praise and gratitude.
Walking and talking is prayer.

Strategies to limit or subvert discussion are the only evil.
Violence is one
but not by far the only one.
What’s the hurry to build a highway or free a people?
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
and time is the mercy of eternity.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

Post Comments
Please Login to post a comment

A comment has not been posted for this poem. Encourage a poet by being the first to comment.