An Outlook

An Outlook


Who do we think we are?

I cannot prevent a wave from reaching the shore

Nor can I alter the colour of my eyes

I may sit aloft in a theatre box with opera glasses

With an incomparable view before me

But understand little of what I see

I cannot start or stop the eruption of a volcano

Or decide where a bird will lay her eggs

The elements of wind, rain, sunshine and snow

Are created not by me but for me

My mind regardless of intellect is finite

My identity is unique and given to me

If I am white I cannot become black 

And vice versa as I have no such power

I cannot make a single hair on my head to be white or black

To be superior is a dangerous illusion and self made

I cannot alter my sexuality no more than I can fly

My vote alone determines no future

I resemble a creature wholly dependent on others

I cannot by my will add one inch to my height

I consider my ideas the best but soon can be brought to nought

I am an individual that is for sure

A part of a family, tribe, nation, culture and origin

All of which I did not create but am a part of

My significance is curtailed not by my doing

For I am a child and will remain so

Only a fool in his heart will say

There is no God

I am not God as I stand in his shadow

Like you I am a mere mortal soul

◄ A Mask

Another Condition ►


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keith jeffries

Fri 23rd Apr 2021 22:17

Thank you also to Your Royal Poetess for your like

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keith jeffries

Fri 23rd Apr 2021 22:15

Thank you to Aviva, Luis, JD Bardo, MC., and Tom Harding for their interesting and thought provoking comments. Also thank you to Stephen A and Stephen G for their likes.

I never thought that this poem would initiate such an interesting response as I wrote it in a muse one recent afternoon as I pondered on my significance in relation to the world about me. I would like to clear some misunderstanding which has occurred about God who appears toward the end of the poem in which I quote from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament of the Bible. The words "only a fool in his heart will say there is no God" is taken from Psalm 53, vs 1 - 3. The author is presumably David who is credited with being the author of the Book of Psalms. In the last two lines I write that I am not God but stand in his shadow. It is in these lines that I acknowledge my personal belief in God.

Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment on this poem.


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Tom Harding

Fri 23rd Apr 2021 17:15

Enjoyed this Keith.
I have a different philosphy to you but I enjoy people's takes on the existential questions.
Disbelievers can have similar feelings of powerlessness and humility in the face of the universe equally. Humanity has only be around for a glimpse of time in comparison to the age of the earth and the universe. If we were to disappear tomorrow it would all carry on and the bees and other animals would have a much easier time of it.
Neuroscience has done much to dispel the notion that we have free will in the manner we perceive we do. I think we're powerless in much broader ways than we can ever comprehend or accept.
Thanks for the thought provoking poem though.

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 23rd Apr 2021 16:55

Be ready to change what you can and accept what you can't.
This applies to the human condition, whether on a personal basis
or in the general sense. We own the vessel and it is down to us
what direction it takes and what variations we can make to its
design and purpose within our power to the achieve the journey.
As for the choice of what constitutes the word "God" - take your pick! It might be said
(hedging one's bets!) that only a fool would accept the existence of "God" - and only a fool would deny the existence of "God". It's such a flexible word.

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J.D. Bardo

Thu 22nd Apr 2021 17:03

Keith, First, thank-you for this poem, What it says to me is that we are all along for the ride. no matter who, or what we are, we are stuck together on the same crowded bus, and we should try to just get along, and respect each other. Second, I also believe in an all powerful God. And I respect every ones decision to believe or not, in anything they want. However, I cannot respect the previous comments on this poem. You really must have touched a nerve with this poem Keith. I am shocked to read such ignorant, and defensively stupid words. Also, I do not see where you called any one a fool. These comments are uncalled for, but very amusing. Thank-you Aviva for the entertainment. Great poem Keith, May God bless you.


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Luis Francisco Hernandez Martin

Thu 22nd Apr 2021 17:03

This sums up the frailty of who we are. Well put together, Luisfran

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keith jeffries

Thu 22nd Apr 2021 16:27

Your passion and fury are to be applauded. "Only a fool in his heart will say there is no God", is a direct quote from the book of psalms, not my quote .I hope I have not caused you too much distress. I have never called you a fool.


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Aviva Rifka Bhandari

Thu 22nd Apr 2021 14:19

You do have the right to believe what you want, and to say what you believe, but you don't really get to call me a fool for thinking other than you without getting a reply.

'Only a fool in his heart will say
There is no God'

I know at least this much about what the supposedly existing Gods 'can do' based on open eyes and open mind to the world around me, and the usual interpretation of what God is supposed to be in metaphysical terms, without true form.

God has never managed to prevent a wave reaching the shore yet.
There's more evidence that he can't than that he can.

God cannot alter the colour of his eyes because he doesn't have any.

God probably wouldn't understand theatre either.

God also cannot start or stop the eruption of a volcano.
Even IF he did set up the laws that govern physics he can't undo them.

I sincerely doubt that god spends his time deciding where a bird lays her eggs.
Even if he does, I don't think he's able to convey his decision to the bird easily.

God's identity is unique and given to him.

If God is white it cannot become black. And vice versa.

God doesn't have hair on his head, he doesn't have a head, he can't make a single hair etc.

Thinking that God has super powers is a dangerous illusion and self made.

God cannot alter his sexuality no more than god can fly.

God doesn't have a vote etc.

God resembles a creature wholly dependent on others (to give it any belief or definition)

God cannot by its own will add one inch to its height.

Some people may consider 'God's ideas' the best, but they can soon be brought to naught.

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keith jeffries

Thu 22nd Apr 2021 13:21

How do you know what God can do if there is no God? Do you have an alternative? I have the right to believe in God as you have the right not to. Along with diminished free speech I shall continue to proclaim my belief.


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Aviva Rifka Bhandari

Thu 22nd Apr 2021 12:09

Just because you are not a god does not mean that there is one.
That being said, if there is one, they also are as limited as you.
God cannot do any of the things you have mentioned either.

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