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We may feel like we’re unconnected
Pieces floating
Like broken planets
Without a sun
Like disassociated
Shattered shards
But maybe there is a bigger picture

Perhaps someone or something
Is twirling the kaleidoscope
Getting pleasure
Out of the surprising
The chaos
Made into order

Whether we believe in
Science or art
Faith or reason
We all have our limitations
We are single pieces
Inside of the tube
Along with other single pieces
Stationary or moving
Depending on the universe expanding
Or the hand of God

It is not that we don’t have choice
That we are inert
Apart from some prime mover
Or gravitational pull

It is that all our choices
And movements
Can be combined
Inside the cosmic mechanism
To make a swirling symphony
Of math and poetry
Of color and light

Life is certainly bigger than ourselves
But it's not hard to imagine
That we are
Beautiful, peculiar,
Integral parts

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Editing stage: 


The title drew me in because just a couple of days ago in my comment to one of the poems of IRiz I had proposed to her this title "Kaleidoscope"...I loved your vision & imagination crafted so very well in this poem....doing more than justice to the title...I really loved the whole piece...

raj (sublime_ocean)

thanks raj! i saw a quote the other day on how we are all like little pieces in a kaleidoscope, broken but beautiful. that was the jumping off point.

author comment

I can't say don't take it personally because all our poetry is personal. It feels to me like you are tackling the the major issues of existence at the forfeit of personal emotional detail. I applaud your courage but the poets that succeed in this endeavour bring it home personally to the reader.

Please think about that before you reply.

And their is a bigger picture (there, their, they're, beware spellcheckers!) there.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

thanks jess. it is a lot to tackle in one poem. it is pretty personal for me, the feeling of being "shattered shards". this is a way that i have found comfort in an existence that can feel at times meaningless and lonely and broken, etc. the idea of a God who's orchestrating things for good. (something I know you don't really agree with.) but i agree, it could be more personal and less vague, more descriptive, poetic. i'm gonna try at it again from a more personal angle soon. I'll call it Kaleidoscope II, so keep your eyes out for it! Thanks again for your honest feedback.

(p.s. I made some edits)

author comment

Hi gregwa8

I liked it until stanza four, I could not decipher it.

(It is not that we don’t have choice
It is that our choices are all used
To make a swirling symphony
Of color and light)

in context of what preceded.

I do like some of the ideals you presented


The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

thanks Tyro. that stanza comes after the one that talks about us being in motion or stationary, depending on whether God is turning the kaleidoscope. but I wanted to argue that just because God is the mover, so to speak, doesn't mean that we can't move in what appears to be our own volition. we have choice. (i made a little edit so hopefully it makes a bit more sense.) this is the stuff of a million academic, philosophical and theological treatises. i don't claim to KNOW how God works. how free will etc works. but this is my poetic exploration and something that gives me comfort to think about. the fact that though things seem chaotic, there is really a benevolent order. does that make any more sense of the stanza you were confused about? thanks so much for the read and comments!

author comment

(typo last line 1st stanza- "there," not "their")
I am halfway through a 48 lecture series on Great Courses called Big History. This looks at the large scale, the last 13 billion years, and shows how complexity evolves in the universe. It offers a reasonable evaluation of science and the known universe and how life evolved in parallel with everything else. Most rewarding discussion. I mention that because whether a divine hand was involved in changing a hydrogen molecule to helium can never be proven- it just seems to be part of a universal force. We know we are made from the stuff in the universe, the elements are universal in the trillions of stars and planets we see. We are part of the evolution to complexity. We are connected to stars, which also exist and cease to exist.
I always question the over personification of deity or divinity, as "someone" getting pleasure from creating the universe. The concept of such a god as an english speaking participant in human affairs is alien to me, as if our actions are depending on his hands, how he turns the kaleidoscope.
There is surely a mystical approach to poetry, but it is only through the mystic's journey of suffering
in the dark night of the soul can there be resolution with the ecstasy of communion. For me I need to feel more passion in this type of poem in addressing the conflict between faith and reason.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

sounds like a great lecture series, mark! like i explained a bit in my comment to jess, some of this poetic exploration is a result of my own existential suffering and struggle. (I agree, a lot of talk about God doesn't appeal to me, apart from that. I studied African American church history in college and there's a thing they call Theodicy, which is the idea that we can only really understand God's goodness in the face of (in response to) evil and suffering, something that African Americans were victim to for so much of their history in this country, and still are.) the struggle for me is particularly finding my place in the universe and making sense of the disconnection i often feel. that is why i used the metaphor of the kaleidoscope, because in it are all these little pieces of colored plastic, which when the kaleidoscope is not moving in it's grand design, are just lonely, perhaps functionless parts/shards. but when the kaleidoscope is in motion, they become something beautiful, purposeful. I have a hard time at times, believing that God takes pleasure in the world, but it is a foundation of my faith, something I keep coming back to, and the place I'm writing from. I so very much appreciate your thoughts and comments and critiques. It could be a much better poem, with work. perhaps fleshing out some of the faith or reason, art or science part of the poem. I told Jess I'm gonna try and write a second poem, that is more personal. Perhaps less pedantic as well. I'll call it Kaleidoscope II and post it soon. Thanks again!

author comment

using the Compare tab allowing you (and us) to track changes, which is a very useful tool.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

thanks greg
it is much clearer now, and i applaud your attempt to search order in our existential world where
religion continues to lose members, and science says only the physical is real.


The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

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