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Deistic Poetry and Prose

When I Look Out At Nature
by Donna Lee

When I look out at Nature,
I see the stars which make me feel both small and insignificant but also important and grand in having the opportunity to view them.
I see mountains that are strong in their silence and beautiful in their cragginess.
I see trees that touch the earth and reach for the heavens, grounded in reality and longing for something higher.
I feel the winds which can blow with such force as to overwhelm me with their harsh power or with such softness as to overwhelm me with their tender caress.
I see wisdom in old people's eyes and wonder in a child's eyes, but there is also wisdom in the child's eyes and wonder in the old person's.
But most of all, when I look out at Nature, I see something whose exquisite beauty and design is of such magnitude that I am unable to contain it within my emotions.
I am filled with a desire, almost a burning need, to share this beauty with others, to do good things.
When I look out at Nature, I see God, and I am fulfilled.

Copyright © 2000 Donna Lee



Untitled
by Carl Safina

"Windy or not, a day this beautiful has to be lived. The day is bright and clear, the sky blue, and the dry air feels light. A northerly wind stirs a primal urge to move. The geese feel it, and so do I. Perhaps it is a last internal vestige from a time, long ago, when we migrated with the seasons across open plains, following the animals we pursued for food. Perhaps that is why the sight of migrating geese arrests our attention, why we feel the pull. We want to go, to travel in fresh or moody weather, taking in each newly revealed vista."

(from Song For The Blue Ocean, 1999)


Untitled
by Carl Safina

"An observant person sees things overlooked by others. A scientist sees things going on and then asks how these goings-on array themselves into patterns, patterns that are reliable and predictable. A really good scientist - or a really good artist for that matter, anyone whose mind and soul are capable of some extension - sees what is going on, sees the patterns, and asks, 'Why?' What underlying forces are at work? How are those forces exerting themselves? How may we understand? Once pried from the universe by a great mind or a discerning heart, the hard-won understanding may then be conveyed and conferred upon humanity at large. A painting is nothing more than light reflected from the surface of a pigment-covered canvas. But a great painter can make you see the depth, make you feel the underlying emotion, make you sense the larger world. That, too, is the power of science: to sense and convey the depth and dimensionality of nature, to glance at the surface and to divine the shape of the universe around us."

(from Song For The Blue Ocean, 1999)


Flower In The Crannied Wall
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower - but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

(1869)


Crossing The Bar
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

(Original Text: Alfred Lord Tennyson, Demeter and other poems, London: MacMillan, 1889.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Works, London: MacMillan, 1891.)

Deism
by Tom Lutton

Ideas are not materially real ...
even from you to me.

But infinity invests in idea ...
within the purpose of survival.

There is no survival, continuity ...
without the idea of infinity.

The essence of survival ...
incorporates the idea of infinity.

Ideas are independent of time.
We are alive: thinking makes it so.

We think in the present ...
now is aware of bits of change.

Awareness of our self ...
partakes of infinite purpose.

Copyright © Tom Lutton


Untitled
by Tom Lutton

Energy accompanies change ...
but only exists ...
as a title in reality.

Change accompanies material ...
but only exists ...
as a co-dependent of time.

Time accompanies thought ...
but time only exists ...
as a material change.

Thought accompanies reality ...
but reality only exists ...
as it is changing.

Thought uncovers infinity ...
as it also exists ...
in the past and future.

Copyright © 1-11-2002 Tom Lutton

Only Me
by Tom Lutton

Once I was alive.
I knew it to be so
because of the sun and rain ...
and because things moved.

Reality is infinitely extended.
Abstractions are not ...
even the idea of me is not.

But the idea of me
stored in connecting cells ...
IS NOT the connecting cells.

The idea of me ...
IS the first premise.
It is the idea of ideas.

Slowly, I construct connections ...
for myself.

Copyright © 11-3-2001 Tom Lutton

Untitled
by Tom Lutton

Silly group of atoms ...
How far you think!
Much beyond your number ...
Much outside your size.

From whimsy to analyses
The nascent thought must be ...
There's everything else ...
And then there's me.

In relating to everything ...
In a marvelous degree ...
Relation to relation must
At one time include me.

Copyright © 6-22-2002 Tom Lutton

Untitled
by Muhammad Iqbal

Thou didst create the night, but I made the lamp;
Thou didst create clay, but I made the cup;
Thou didst create the deserts, mountains and forests,
I produced the orchards, gardens and groves;
It is I who made the glass out of stone,
And it is I who turned a poison into an antidote.


God
by Kahlil Gibran

In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips,
I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying,
"Master, I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee for ever more."
But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away.

And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again spoke unto God, saying,
"Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clay hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all."
And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed away.

And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke unto God again, saying,
"Father, I am thy son. In pity and love thou hast given me birth,
and through love and worship I shall inherit thy kingdom."
And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant hills he passed away.

And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and again spoke unto God, saying,
"My God, my aim and my fulfillment; I am thy yesterday and thou art my tomorrow.
I am thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky,
and together we grow before the face of the sun."
Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness,
and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down to her, he enfolded me.

And when I descended to the valleys and the plains; God was there also.


God
by Walt Whitman

THOUGHT of the Infinite--the All!
Be thou my God.

Lover Divine, and Perfect Comrade!
Waiting, content, invisible yet, but certain,
Be thou my God.

Thou--thou, the Ideal Man!
Fair, able, beautiful, content, and loving,
Complete in Body, and dilate in Spirit,
Be thou my God.

O Death--(for Life has served its turn;)
Opener and usher to the heavenly mansion!
Be thou my God.

Aught, aught, of mightiest, best, I see, conceive, or know,
(To break the stagnant tie--thee, thee to free, O Soul,)
Be thou my God.

Or thee, Old Cause, when'er advancing;
All great Ideas, the races' aspirations,
All that exalts, releases thee, my Soul!
All heroisms, deeds of rapt enthusiasts,
Be ye my Gods!

Or Time and Space!
Or shape of Earth, divine and wondrous!
Or shape in I myself--or some fair shape, I, viewing, worship,
Or lustrous orb of Sun, or star by night:
Be ye my Gods.


Lines Written In Early Spring
by William Wordsworth

I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:--
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

(1798)

Panthea
by Oscar Wilde

Nay, let us walk from fire unto fire,
From passionate pain to deadlier delight,-
I am too young to live without desire,
Too young art thou to waste this summer night
Asking those idle questions which of old
Man sought of seer and oracle, and no reply was told.

For sweet, to feel is better than to know,
And wisdom is a childless heritage,
One pulse of passion-youth's first fiery glow,-
Are worth the hoarded proverbs of the sage:
Vex not thy soul with dead philosophy,
Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love, and eyes to see!

Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale
Like water bubbling from a silver jar,
So soft she sings the envious moon is pale,
That high in heaven she hung so far
She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune,-
Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, yon late and laboring moon.

White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream,
The fallen snow of petals where the breeze
Scatters the chestnut blossom, or the gleam
Of all our endless sins, our vain endeavour
Enough for thee, dost thou desire more?
Alas! the Gods will give naught else from their eternal store.

For our high Gods have sick and wearied grown
Of boyish limbs in water,- are not these
For wasted days of youth to make atone
By pain or prayer or priest, and never, never,
Hearken they now to either good or ill,
But send their rain upon the just and the unjust at will.

They sit at ease, our Gods they sit at ease,
Strewing with leaves of rose their scented wine,
They sleep, they sleep, beneath the rocking trees
Where asphodel and yellow lotus twine,
Mourning the old glad days before they knew
What evil things the heart of man could dream, and dreaming do.

And far beneath the brazen floor, they see
Like swarming flies the crowd of little men,
The bustle of small lives, then wearily
Back to their lotus-haunts they turn again
Kissing each other's mouths, and mix more deep
The poppy-seeded draught which brings soft purple-lidded sleep.

There all day long the golden-vestured sun,
Their torch-bearer, stands with his torch a-blaze,
And when the gaudy web of noon is spun
By its twelve maidens through the crimson haze
Fresh from Endymion's arms comes forth the moon,
And the immortal Gods in toils of mortal passions swoon.

There walks Queen Juno through some dewy mead,
Her grand white feet flecked with the saffron dust
Of wind-stirred lilies, while young Ganymede
Leaps in the hot and amber-foaming must,
His curls all tossed, as when the eagle bare
The frightened boy from Ida through the blue Ionian air.

There in the green heart of some garden close
Queen Venus with the shepherd at her side,
Her warm soft body like the brier rose
Which would be white yet blushes at its pride,
Laughs low for love, till jealous Salmacis
Peers through the myrtle-leaves and sighs for pain of lonely bliss.

There never does that dreary northwind blow
Which leaves our English forests bleak and bare,
Nor ever falls the swift white-feathered snow,
Nor doth the red-toothed lightning ever dare
To wake them in the silver-fretted night
When we lie weeping for some sweet sad sin, some dead delight.

Alas! they know the far Lethaean spring,
The violet-hidden waters well they know,
Where one whose feet with tired wandering
Are faint and broken may take heart and go,
And from those dark depths cool and crystalline
Drink, and draw balm, and sleep for sleepless souls, and anodyne.

But we oppress our natures, God or Fate
Is our enemy, we starve and feed
On vain repentance- O we are born too late!
What balm for us in bruised poppy seed
Who crowd into one finite pulse of time
The joy of infinite love and the fierce pain of infinite crime.

O we are wearied of this sense of guilt,
Wearied of pleasures paramour despair,
Wearied of every temple we have built,
Wearied of every right, unanswered prayer,
For man is weak; God sleeps: and heaven is high:
One fiery-colored moment: one great love: and lo! we die.

Ah! but no ferry-man with laboring pole
Nears his black shallop to the flowerless strand,
No little coin of bronze can bring the soul
Over Death's river to the sunless land,
Victim and wine and vow are all in vain,
The tomb is sealed; the soldiers watch; the dead rise not again.

We are resolved into the supreme air,
We are made one with what we touch and see,
With our heart's blood each crimson sun is fair,
With our young lives each spring-impassioned tree
Flames into green, the wildest beasts that range
The moor our kinsmen are, all life is one, and all is change.

With beat of systole and of diastole
One grand great light throbs through earth's giant heart,
And mighty waves of single Being roll
From nerve-less germ to man, for we are part
Of every rock and bird and beast and hill,
One with the things that prey on us, and one with what we kill.

From lower cells of waking life we pass
To full perfection; thus the world grows old:
We who are godlike now were once a mass
Of quivering purple flecked with bars of gold,
Unsentient or of joy or misery,
And tossed in terrible tangles of some wild and wind-swept sea.

This hot hard flame with which our bodies burn
Will make some meadow blaze with daffodil,
Ay! and those argent breasts of thine will turn
To water-lilies; the brown fields men till
Will be more fruitful for our love to-night,
Nothing is lost in nature, all things live in Death's despite.

The boy's first kiss, the hyacinth's first bell,
The man's last passion, and the last red spear
That from the lily leaps, the asphodel
Which will not let its blossoms blow for fear
Of too much beauty, and the timid shame
Of the young bridegroom at his lover's eyes,- these with the same

One sacrament are consecrate, the earth
Not we alone hath passions hymeneal,
The yellow buttercups that shake for mirth
At daybreak know a pleasure not less real
Than we do, when in some fresh-blossoming wood
We draw the spring into our hearts, and feel that life is good.

So when men bury us beneath the yew
Thy crimson-stained mouth a rose will be,
And thy soft eyes lush bluebells dimmed with dew,
And when the white narcissus wantonly
Kisses the wind its playment, some faint joy
Will thrill our dust, and we will be again fond maid and boy.

And thus without life's conscious torturing pain
In some sweet flower we will feel the sun,
And from the linnet's throat will sing again,
And as two gorgeous-mailed snakes will run
Over our graves, or as two tigers creep
Through the hot jungle where the yellow-eyed huge lions sleep

And give them battle! How my heart leaps up
To think of that grand living after death
In beast and bird and flower, when this cup,
Being filled too full of spirit, bursts for breath,
And with the pale leaves of some autumn day
The soul earth's earliest conqueror becomes earth's last great prey.

O think of it! We shall inform ourselves
Into all sensuous life, the goat-foot Faun,
The Centaur, or the merry bright-eyed Elves
That leave their dancing rings to spite the dawn
Upon the meadows, shall not be more near
Than you and I to nature's mysteries, for we shall hear

The thrush's heart beat, and the daisies grow,
And the wan snowdrop sighing for the sun
On sunless days in winter, we shall know
By whom the silver gossamer is spun,
Who paints the diapered fritillaries,
On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies.

Ay! had we never loved at all, who knows
If yonder daffodil had lured the bee
Into its gilded womb, or any rose
Had hung with crimson lamps its little tree!
Methinks no leaf would ever bud in spring,
But for the lovers' lips that kiss, the poet's lips that sing.

Is the light vanished from our golden sun,
Or is this daedal-fashioned earth less fair,
That we are nature's heritors, and one
With every pulse of life that beats the air?
Rather new suns across the sky shall pass,
New splendour come unto the flower, new glory to the grass.

And we two lovers shall not sit afar,
Critics of nature, but the joyous sea
Shall be our raiment, and the bearded star
Shoot arrows at our pleasure! We shall be
Part of the mighty universal whole,
And through all aeons mix and mingle with the Kosmic Soul!

We shall be notes in that great Symphony
Whose cadence circles through the rhythmic spheres,
And all the live World's throbbing heart shall be
One with our heart, the stealthy creeping years
Have lost their terrors now, we shall not die,
The Universe itself shall be our Immortality!

THE END

(1890)