Category Archives: Other poetry

Poetry by me that is not the Sermons.

Doubt theory

Among my many theories,
there’s one of which I’m proud
that sorts the mind’s pathologies
by what one fails to doubt.

If you can’t doubt the things you think,
you will at first feel great,
then grow confused until the brink
of madness is your fate.

If you can’t doubt the things you feel,
you’ll grow depressed and cross,
because their quarrels will reveal
the strongest one is loss.

If you can’t doubt the things you want,
you’ll follow where they lead,
until you’re like a symbiont
with what you’ve come to need.

And if you fail to doubt your doubt,
you’ll lose your basic sense
of what your life should be about
and make no difference.

And the prediction that falls out
of that is in the main
that someone who is good at doubt
is likely to be sane.

This is a quick one that just came to me recently. Written in less than half an hour.

A Thousand Stars

In the German Democratic Republic, where I was born, one of the most popular Christmas songs was Tausend Sterne sind ein Dom. It was written in the aftermath of World War 2, by the music student Siegfried Köhler.  I heard and sang it from when I was about seven, and I vividly remember being impressed with the match between its remarkably poetic lyrics and its tender and serene music. Here’s a recording you might enjoy:

I sang it again, for the first time in many years, with a large group of friends at the Secular Solstice 2013. But Secular Solstices, even in Germany, are generally held in English. So for the 2014 Solstice, I wrote a translation of the lyrics into English, and it goes like this. Continue reading