My Religion


I wish I had found religion
In a church, a temple, a mosque,
On a beach or mountain,
In a lover’s embrace.

The only spirit I found
I poured out of a bottle,
Or sucked into my lungs,
Or dissolved on my tongue.

I envy people with faith
In something else besides
Themselves, and I may
Even envy more the people

Who have faith in
Just themselves.
I wonder what it’s like
To feel connected to a

Higher power or calling.
I wonder if I was
Able to devote myself
To a god, a cause,

Or just another person
Would I feel better?
Still I stare at the stars
And wonder who’s watching

Who and if I knew
The answer would I know
Which one of us is better.
I chose my faith

Or lack of long ago,
But I don’t want to
Be a skeptic forever
So I’ll settle for

Poetry as my religion.
Perhaps that makes me
A fool, but there are
Worse things to believe in.

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Cascade's picture

You have a voice that speaks

You have a voice that speaks truth very deeply and "God" has made a "church" in your resounding wonder, touching anyone that sees

Starward's picture

This is a beautiful poem

This is a beautiful poem about a difficult problem, which I went through, myself, for years in the late eighties and very early nineties.  You document all the aspects of the problems very poetically.

 

However, one set of lines---Still I stare at the stars / And wonder who’s watching---is one of the most brilliant statement I have every read in a poem, and I have been reading poetry for forty-five years as of this April.  Both phonetically, with assonance, and the essential mystery described by the words . . . such a depth in these words far beyond even the profound deepness of the rest of the poem.  I found this by random browsing, and believe me, those two lines have made my morning.


Starward

Diamond_Wills_New_War's picture

Thank you

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I'm honored that you found those two lines so brilliant. I wish I could tell you that I'm some profound, excellent writer, but like most things in poetry it just happened and I was the lucky fool who got to hold the pen as those words came out. Again, thank you.


Long days and pleasant nights

Diamond

Starward's picture

My pleasure.  A set of lines

My pleasure.  A set of lines like that one deserves all the praise I can offer.  You know, even Eliot recognized that poems are uneven in quality---the really superior lines do not occur often (only a mediocre poet writes his or her best every time).  

 

Are you familiar with Pound's great epic failure, or great failed epic, The Cantos.  Although he redefined it over the course of thirty years, finally admitting, shrotly before he died (in 1972, I think) that it was a huge failure, the poem was to be an epic either like Dante's Comedy (although it lacked the love interest to drive the action forward), or an epic attempting to gather together all the experience of several cultures---which made it topheavy.  But in the section called the Pisan Cantos, written while Pound was a prisoner of the Allied Army, charged with treason for having broadcast propoganda for Mussolini (and the worst he really said was to make a profane mockery of Eliot's very sacred play, "Murder in the Cathedral").  He was actually kept in a cage and had to sleep on the actual bare ground, with just one blanket and no pillow.  (Believe it or not, as Pound's mistreatment at the hands of his captors, both in Italy and then in America, continued to increase, Eliot began to pull some very long strings to have this mistreatment decreased.  And, at that time, Eliot was a very powerful poet, and commanded a lot of influence.)  Anyhow, I said all that to say this:  in the Pisan Cantos are the loveliest, most beautiful words that Pound every cobbled together:  To build the city of Dioce whose terraces are the colour of stars.

 

And he attempted to do that verbally, to build, in words and lines and pages, a City of names, and facts, and quotations, and he hoped the glory of it would be the colour of the stars.  


I think you will have far more beautiful lines than he did.


Starward

SSmoothie's picture

If poetry can heal and thats

If poetry can heal and thats your miracle why not? There is a greater poeer one that loves you more than yourself and as always its so big thing no aha moment the earth doesnt move  you simply decide to have faith in that. And the rest is never lonely. Xo hugss 


Don't let any one shake your dream stars from your eyes, lest your soul Come away with them! -SS    

"Well, it's life SIMS, but not as we know it" - ¡$&am

allets's picture

Moments Of Acceptance

You decide. You live with the decision until another option occurs. You decide...like that. Poetry is not my religion - people are, but we have a long history of looking up and wondering. :D