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FAITH

Faith remains here among the living;
It does not accompany a departing soul
In its rational abstraction for belief,
In a dimension it unknowably follows.

Mine is found in the great galleries,
On the grand stage of a concert hall;
Seized by a spontaneous grasp of beauty
Something in me, “faith”, comes to call.

It is a primal hunger which must be fed
In the puzzle of the final death;
I see my neighbors pray and beg
For a kingdom of everlasting breath-

But I shall never crawl or sink that low
To kneel in prayer in an empty room,
While ranting priests are blind to know
What really passes past the tomb.

What new thesis can be said of it?
That it’s a mere gene to comfort reason?
A link between dream and experience,
Replacing miracles of gods or demons?

Whatever it means to be alive, a human being,
You and I share this very page at this very time.
Somehow there is in you another me
That shares this hope in these imperfect rhymes-

And "pactum serva" is a benumbed belief
That it will live, and will die in verses
Composed by blissful bards, thieving
In the night with Adam’s curses.

Last few words: 
Pactum serva- "Keep the Faith" in a famous poem by Horace, Adam's curses are many, but the one most referred to is he must name everything. The original task of a poet! Apologies for blasphemies. It is what it it.
Editing stage: 

Comments

the first stanza has a lot of "its"...and a couple of nouns...faith, and soul
I had a hard time, for some reason attaching which "its' with which noun,
I'm sure you don't have this problem, and I'm not sure anyone else will either.
Maybe its is just an itch for me!

otherwise, you rock!

you practice what you preach..."a little personal, a little universal"

thanks for all your insightful comments to me and others...you've got some heavy poetic chops.

Al

but I felt it as better than repeating the word "faith" to often, and for now couldn't get around "it."

and thanks for the compliment! I feel I have come a long way this year...having "retired" I got back into poetry and am starting to feel in a few years I might write some good stuff. This site has helped me with a lot of ideas, but I have been really helped by the DC Poetry Workshop I started on "meetup". about 12 poets meet every sat in a museum courtyard to discuss our poems. I have 950 members on the site! Direct reading and commenting with people is very important; if you are not doing this, I'm sure there are lots of poets in your area that are looking for the same thing- to share their work with other poets.

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

author comment

A lot of people are (sensibly or otherwise) coming around to a new sense of reason. When Nietzche said that "God is dead, he remains dead etc." - I think he was referring to the idea of the spiritual being replaced by the numinous - or the indescribable - or worse, with nothing. I happen to think, as you seem to do, that there is sufficient wonder, grace, art, beauty, and ideas, places to go, wonderful things to see, that give me a faith in the "wonder" of what's down here.
I found the actual reading out loud of the first few stanzas a little awkward, but in the third - definietly the fourth, and then the final stanza, I found wonderful language, which is never too far away with you, i particularly liked:

And "pactum serva" is a benumbed belief
That it will live, and will die in verses
Composed by blissful bards, thieving
In the night with Adam’s curses.

I'll have to look that one up. Learning as always - Opsimaths.

Cheers.

Chris.

Chris Hall - Tasmania

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince's stores.

I’ve always felt a religious kind of experience at concerts. Music does that. Same thing with art, poetry, movies, etc. Question for me is: why is that? What's underneath all that? Is it just that those art forms are expressing what is true in the lived experience in a much more accurate way than matter of fact language alone can, so we just “get it”, whatever “it” is? If so, what is responsible for those “truths”? As you say brilliantly “somehow there is another me in you”. That line is awesome. But I believe that really is true. And I can’t figure out why. Is it just empathy, mirror neurons, and common experience - the result of evolution? Or something else…like a little piece of the shared divine in all of us. I don’t get it, but maybe the religious people are on to something. Your poem got me thinking again about it....sorry to highjack your page here and ramble on about it...I guess the whole reason I write anything is to get to the bottom of those questions. I don’t have much for helpful critique. I really like the poem. Your work is always so orderly and balanced.

It was an interesting poem to try to write, on faith. When I started it I searched around the web and sure enough there's a site with over 1000 quotables on it, from famous and not so famous names, on both sides of the aisle. I stopped after 600...everybody's got a passionate opinion!
It is a primal need, how can we live without faith in something? So we make our choices. Glad I got you thinking.

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

author comment

Great one! I share every bit of hope and critique of what most people characterise as "faith". For me, too, it is found within the lines of the poem and the experience of... experiencing this feeling together, as human beings. I love this: "Seized by a spontaneous grasp of beauty/Something in me, “faith”, comes to call."
The rhythm made the poem a bit hard to follow at times, as its off in some places- in stanza 3, might I suggest replacing "everlasting" with "eternal"?
I am glad I read this one. It's beautiful when we all come to the same realisation, that heaven is here on earth.

 

Love,
Steph

... to remember what it felt like to have my being set alight
beneath the moon when I was full and I was dancing with the night
when I could see beyond my sight
when I could see beyond my sight

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