What further evidence will now be needed to assure
Us that behind the strictly physical there’s something more,
And that the natural world is clearly ordered from above,
Than seeing how the normal parent cannot help but love
A child?  Though some may raise the specter of “the selfish gene,”
Philosophies thus tendered are reductive and obscene
To broader understanding.  Faith will never go away
So long as there is life.  I’d like to be on hand that day
When Richard Dawkins, sainted for consistent subtle lies,
Is carried, kicking and screaming, to Doubters’ Paradise.


Time Enough

It often has been said that life is brief,
That time is like a surreptitious thief
That robs a man just when his cup is full
And brings him low by gravitation’s pull.

But I asseverate that life is long,
With more than time enough for every song
Worth hearing to delight the mortal ear
Before angelic singers disappear.

And furthermore, as I have come to know,
The steady press of time proceeds so slow
That every figment of your fondest dreams
Will be played out exactly as it seems,

In animated analog slow-motion.
Pelagic realms that float above the benthic
Imply a level all-sustaining ocean
Where nothing truly owned is inauthentic.


C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden.  Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India.  His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.

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7 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    In case no one noticed, “Verification” is a ten-nos, a form invented/discovered by SCP contributor, Bruce Dale Wise.

    — CBA

  2. B.D.W.

    C. B. Anderson,

    I noticed before I read your comment that you used the tennos here. As far as I know, but I can’t keep up with these things, you are the third to use the form after Reid McGrath in his poem on Tom Brady and Super Bowl LI. But, as Poe has pointed out in prose, and demonstrated in the “The Raven”, and as you undoubtedly know from your poetic practice, there are countless possibilities of structures that can be made; and the tennos is only one. One of my discoveries of the tennos is that it leaves itself open to change, as folk poetry is wont to do; and that is one of the attributes of the tennos that I particularly admire.

    Your poem “Verification” attacks an important philosophical stance of the influential, scientifically-inspired Logical Positivists of the early 20th century. It has always amazed me that so many physicists do not accept the premise that the universe is “ordered from above,” as they pursue energetically the “laws” of the universe. But I believe that the hypothetical deductive method espoused in varying ways by such figures, as Bertrand Russell and the Logical Positivists, has been thoroughly discounted even within the philosophy of science itself, by such figures, as Hanson, Kuhn, Polanyi, Quine, and Wittgenstein. And broadly I agree with you; for I believe faith underlies all knowledge.

  3. C.B. Anderson

    Whew! That’s a lot of grist for the mill. I can ask for nothing better, and I feel exponentially empowered with such a deeply thoughtful response. The universe (Creation) is a very special realm, and more than not I try to find my place in it.

  4. Evan

    Mr. Anderson, you have so inspired my first tennos…

    Bruce Dale Wise

    A Tennos

    There once arose a poet who distracted me with words
    That took themselves so seriously with topics so absurd,
    And when I shook my head to brush them off and say goodbye
    I found that right around they came and in my face did fly,
    And multiplied in brilliant hues of verse I couldn’t ignore
    Until at last enchanting me, until I asked for more,
    And thought I’d seen the mighty strength of Hercules
    That knew no bounds, could slay all foes, with its verbosity,
    And when awoke I from this slumber and I asked his name,
    He turned around and said to me, “It never is the same.”

  5. Evan

    * The tennos (“sonnet” spelled backward) is a poem of 10 lines in iambic heptameter (14 syllables). It inverts the sonnet, which is 14 lines, each with 10 syllables.

  6. B. D. W.

    And then there were four?

    Although the following was not my first tennos, Evan was the first to publish one of my tennos (both singular & plural), back on September 3, 2014. Not everything fits the format of a tennos; but I have found it useful for my docupoems. As you point out, Evan, the sonnet breaks differently, whether English, French, Italian, Russian, American, etc. The tennos, because of its structure, has alternate breaks as well. Here is that tennos, slightly edited since then.

    The Truth James Foley Stood For
    by Cid Wa’eeb El Sur

    James Foley, searching for the truth, a photojournalist,
    was murdered in cold blood by a masked ISIS jihadist,
    beheaded on a video in deserts of Iraq,
    remorselessly and fiercely, by a killer dressed in black.
    The guy, who only wanted to expose the suffering,
    was executed brutally without a covering,
    his evil butcher camouflaged behind a veiled cloth,
    his vicious killer shrouded, like a grim and reaping Goth,
    believing in the triumph of a cult of hate and death.
    The truth James Foley stood for is now clearly under threat.

  7. Wendy Bourke

    Thoughtful – and thought provoking – pieces, beautifully rendered. Wonderful rhyme and cadence. I enjoyed reading them both!


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