Sunday, May 31, 2009

Discussion, Tracking Signs

This first poem is written in gratitude to Blaise Pascal, who first pointed out that belief in God cannot in the end be buttressed by reason and so can be approached in the form of a wager thus, if you choose to believe in God you may gain much and lose little. If you choose that you do not believe, you risk much and what you can gain is doubtful. While this may not be palatable as an underpinning of belief, it cannot be reasonably denied in anything like the ease with which it can be stated. This was a groundbreaking philosophical point that no one had done before him, opened up probability theory, anticipated pragmatism and voluntarism as philosophical movements, and was part of a group of observations that attacks certainty and thus may be considerred the first work of existentialism.

It is important that this wager not be understood as a reason to believe by itself. That is not how Pascal meant it at all. However, not everyone was pleased with Pascal. The wager was published posthumously and thus Pascal escaped all brouhaha. If you are interested in the replies that philosophers made and all that, just Wiki Pascal's Wager. It turns out there were forerunners of the wager in Islam and Hinduism.


You said, "Better to
Believe in God, risking there
Is no God than the other way."
I said, "Better to
Believe in the work, risking there
Is no satisfaction than not believing
Which guarantees no satisfaction."
God woke up at that, sang
"Boys will be boys.
And girls will be girls.
It's a crazy mixed up world."

January 9, 2009 3:37 PM


This poem brings to light the way women dissappear and appear in the north, or the winter, in the snow in my life. The View From The Northern Wall, Noordwal. In the Chinese version of the directions, the North is the place of solitude. South is plenitude, East beginnings, and West endings.

Or is it God? I'll wager :) Hmmm. Goddess.

Of course to bring it down home, my last lover left Oregon, emigrating to British Columbia. How much more literal can I get?

Tracking Signs

You've gone north and you
Expect me to follow you
But I see no trail.
That means I'll have to
Track the signs you've left again.
That will slow me down.

(shaking the rain off)

Not that I suck at signs, no,
I follow them well,
Hardly ever get
Lost so bad I must give up
In disgust, go home.

You know all of this,
Of course you do. I admit
This pisses me off.

Still, my heart hangs here
Now that you've gone walking
As if I don't count,
As if it's me that
Disappeared, or I didn't
Care enough for you.

January 10, 2009 9:15 AM


  1. Hmmmmm.

    I like the last one...brought out the jaded old cynic in me....

    Oh, hang on a minute!

    I just left him :)


  2. Michelle :D rather sharp humor for a Monday.

  3. Never give up... just don't be so pissed off when you do track her down that you rage and roar and run her off.

    Touched, I was, that you followed me
    that I mattered enough
    to be one of your lost treasures.

    If only you had kept your voice down,
    touched me with the softness
    of a robin’s wing, careful
    not to jar our fragile eggs of blue

    I would have fallen, fallen deep

    but for the edge of anger, your
    voice rising, an axe, gut clenched
    like a fist, shattering the day.

  4. Rachel, darling. I understand. I think it marvelous that we all can find things in different ways. I don't think I was all that angry writing, but I see it reading with your eyes :)

    In the realtime situation I am not required to follow signs nor am I tracking anyone. I know where she is, and she frequently visits here. When she does I have contact. And I know I am one of her better friends still.

    In the fantasy situation, I was trying for a kind of fond irritation, like you might have with your children way before you feel compelled to escalate, the kind of fondness of a father for his almost grown daughter. At least that is how it looks now. That same fondness can be irritated by a lover off on her own "without permission". (As if I could really be in that position, which is a whole 'nother discussion about courtesy)

  5. Chistopher, i think that's the beauty of poetry; we each can read our own experience into it. I took your words in a whole other direction, knowing you meant them gently. Whee! I love that about our poetic conversations.

  6. You two...

    I'm in a fog today. It is hard for me to navigate existentialism or belief or lovers gone awry, gone north. I guess for a moment I'm in that North place myself, where even the sunshine is too bright. I hide away in moments like this...cling selfishly to comments on my blog like they are water, watch movies and documentaries, can't seem to focus on words of a book, miss my children and my friends far away, yet know that in this state, even if they were close I would hide. Days like this come and go, and are forgotten quickly like yesterday's tide.

    And look, your post and RAchel's poem too, brought all that out in me. Today I am but flotsam, tomorrow I'll finish trying to conquer the world.

  7. And so, because of my stated mood, a poem:

    What’s this I feel?
    This empty place
    This hole inside
    This fall from grace
    Where is the well
    That once was full?
    It’s dry and gone
    A fetid pool.
    Where once a dream
    Did fill my mind
    And swirling schemes
    Some too unkind
    They are gone too
    Forgot somehow,
    Would even they
    Be welcome now?
    If I sit still
    To close my eyes
    And quiet down
    The foggy lies
    Will you appear
    To hold me tight?
    Oh Mother of
    The tender night?
    Or will I only
    Find my self
    Immersed in goo
    Stuck on a shelf
    What’s in that hole?
    That empty place
    Shall I spelunk
    To find my face?
    I know not if
    I have the strength
    To seek the truth
    To go the length
    So I shall sit
    And merely stare
    Please do not worry
    Do not care.
    If I sit still
    Make not a sound
    No waves will break
    Or run aground
    A peaceful stone
    Is what I’ll be
    Please tell them what’s
    Become of me.

  8. Holy Sh*t, Catv. I am bowled over. Permit me to say what I did not at your blog. I am so deeply impressed with your creativity and your commitment to the Untouchables and all that. I do know that part of the world, or once did.

    Wow. Strong stuff today. Rachel posted her poem on her site. I replied there :)

  9. Well, it was one of those days Christopher :)

    Go read my blog today...I have moved on, after all, it is Tuesday now.


  10. Wow! Sometimes I'm at a loss. I've been married to the same guy since 1973!!! Has every day been happy? Of course not. Have we weathered every storm? Absolutely. Blessed, I am. Still, I feel your feelings, Christopher, which is what makes poetry such a wonder.

    Cat: That's amazing. Put it up on your blog!!

  11. She is neither pink nor pale,
    And she never will be all mine;
    She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
    And her mouth on a valentine.

    She has more hair than she needs;
    In the sun 'tis a woe to me!
    And her voice is a string of colored beads,
    Or steps leading into the sea.

    She loves me all that she can,
    And her ways to my ways resign;
    But she was not made for any man,
    And she never will be all mine.

    Witch Wife
    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  12. {{{Michelle}}}

    Karen, I lived with for three years and then was married to the same lady for just over twenty. I would have stayed that way if it was even remotely possible. The end of that marriage placed the capstone on my financial losses. Now I don't have a retirement. And she died of that which forced the divorce.

  13. Ghost, I know that woman, actually twice. That's the woman you start up with saying, I know this is going to hurt, doing it anyway.

  14. Ahhh, thanks for that....laughing my ass off here :D


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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