I Think Therefore

“I think,” said Descartes, “and therefore I am.”
declared many years ago, way before spam.
It predated facebook and twitter and tweet,
when only the lonely thought thought was a treat.
Today there is seldom an unspoken thought;
a trait to forsake for the misery it’s brought.
We rarely do think before voicing our quotes,
instead simply living with unthoughten spokes.
So if you must speak before finding the grave,
remember Descartes and the wisdom he gave.
If thinking is being the am I have got,
I therefore must think I’m no am I am not.
Then thinking I’m thinking I think is a sham,
and thinking I’m not is not thinking I am…
I think.  Oh rot!

Sheep Got Teeth

Sheep got teeth.
They’s on the bottom.
On the top
They ain’t got’em.

I like sheep,
They’s wooly neat.
I shearly like their
Two-toed feet.

They got good ears,
They herd a bunch.
And sheep can bleat
While munchin’ lunch.

But somethin’
Baaathers sheep a lot,
It’s flossin’ teeth
Which they ain’t got.

And that is why,
When you can’t sleep,
You never count a
Smilin’ sheep.


Four Hundred Squirrels

Four hundred squirrels ran up the tree
And on its branches leapt.
Four hundred squirrels ran over me
Below them as I slept.
Four hundred squirrels laughed noisily
Where solitude had been;
Four hundred squirrels shot off the tree
With Daddy’s old four-ten.


Don Shook, past president of the Fort Worth Poetry Society and founder of The Actors Company, is a writer, actor, director and producer who worked with such stars as Dick Clark, Cybil Shepherd, and Debbie Reynolds.  Formerly with NBC, he has performed in theatre, film and television across the country including opera at Carnegie Hall, New York and as resident performer at Casa Manana Musicals in Fort Worth. Author of a recently published novel “Bluehole” and three poetry books, he was selected 2009 Senior Poet Laureate of Texas.  Don Shook Productions offers entertainment ranging from murder mysteries to one-man dramas.

Featured Image: “Portret van Rene Descartes” by Frans Hals

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5 Responses

  1. James Ph. Kotsybar


    We prove our own existence to ourselves
    by pointing to the fact (?)
    that we can think,
    but looking through all the libraries’ shelves,
    we find no definition
    down in ink
    of how it’s accomplished
    or even what thought is,
    and thus we fool ourselves.

    Of course, we assume
    we know the terms we use,
    but we’ve put Descartes
    before the horse.
    Cogito cogito,
    but there’s no proof.
    Quod erat demonstrandum
    is unknown.
    The very thought of thought’s some sort of spoof;
    there’s nothing about thought that can be shown.

    I doubt Descartes’ dictum
    will stand time’s test;
    thought as a premise
    is absurd at best.

  2. Cees Wilerd Bui

    Portert van Rene Descartes

    Franz Hals’ rendition of Descartes shows, in his pose,
    the arched eyebrows above the thoughtful, round, brown eyes,
    the wrinkles faint below, the large and bumpy nose,
    the graying whiskers that his lips enclose, the chin’s large size,
    his face encased in long brown, falling, curling hair,
    beneath a starched and bright white collar’s square, which lies
    upon a cape of ebony, a black roquelaire
    perhaps. He holds his hat, black too, in his right hand.
    His arrogance and confidence infuse his stare,
    the man who thought and brought geometry’s great land
    to algebra, so clearly and distinctly, Hals shows
    the man, against a gray background of cool command.

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