I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

8 February 2017

Questions of Existence

Tonight I saw on telly
film-star beautiful Professor Brian Cox
asking, 'Why are we here?'

I could smell my skin,
bared by my scant sarong,
pungent in the heat.

I tasted in memory
the seafood risotto
Maureen bought me for lunch.

I saw that I had not answered adequately
when she asked, 'Do you believe in God?'
All I said was, 'Yes.'

I felt startled when she said she didn't.
She said she believes in Nature.
I would call that God, or part of God.

I listened to the restaurant chef
telling how much he loves
his two little daughters.

I observed, in the photo he showed,
the calmly radiant face of the 5-year-old
as she cradled her baby sister.

Now I am enjoying the taste of warm milk
and cocoa: my usual nightcap. A little earlier
I had a glass of red with the Professor.

And I remembered trying to explain
to Maureen my idea of God. That I was not
believing in the one she doesn't believe in.

I wanted to go back and simply say,
'I believe in God, and I don't know
what God is.' (Though I know God.)

I watched Brian Cox smile sweetly from the screen
as he told us, 'No-one knows why. It can be whatever
you choose.' (Science catches up with philosophy!)

It's a hot, sticky night tonight, in this little corner
of the ever-expanding Universe – where we are
because we must be, and I am because I am.

Written in a format suggested in Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet II.

Linking to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #340


  1. ...I am because I am...I write because I do

    1. Would have liked to work in also another interesting way he said it, or my understanding of that: we are because we happened.

    2. This is beautiful Rosemary. I can taste the mystery of God in your words. God is divine and God is ordinary and when we balance the two then we know ourselves more completely. Hugs Sonja

  2. Soft,settling reflection. I am...

  3. This is glorious! Especially the closing lines. Sigh. I am replete, after reading it. I am because I am. Yes, we Are!Smiles.

  4. i believe in GOD too. :) and i believe in US!

  5. I also know God, so believing isn't in the equation (though it's in the language). I am filled by the I AM you make so clear in your poem!

    1. Another thought of the beauty of your mashup of many ways of knowing. This poem sticks with me.

  6. This is beautiful, Rosemary. I agree there is a God. I don't really see how a person cannot believe. Indeed nature is part of God...the essence of God perhaps. I do think that it must be hard not to believe in anything..in fact, it saddens me to think that some people do not. Your poem made me reflect, Rosemary, and that is a good thing.

  7. "....where we are / because we must be," A great Truth this is. There are many events we control and many more we can never. And both bring us Here where 'free will is just a baby.

  8. A thought provoking one Rosemary.

  9. Faith is what it is and "and I am because I am"...deep reflections...

  10. "where we are
    because we must be, and I am because I am."

    How beautiful! As tiny specks of consciousness on this huge planet, I guess we are somehow limited in our ability to perceive and know God. But even if we don't have all the answers, can never have them, maybe we do feel that connect to God through small ways. I love the imagery with which you brought that out- through the bounty of love and caring that goes around. Maybe that itself makes one feel that God is looking after us, and that our destiny is safely in his hands :)

  11. I think the wonder of I - in being a mind to ponder things like this is what makes you believe in God. Love the layered images you mixed your philosophy with.

  12. How full, true and meaningful this comforting poem is Rosemary. It is not about who or what we worship or believe in; it is accepting what a beautiful gift we have been given and how we thank the giver is entirely up to us alone.

  13. Lovely lilt to this meditation, perambuling through the late stations of the day, settling where it began with a smile.

  14. I absolutely love this❤️ there is a poignant and intimate touch to your words, one we can resonate with. Especially touched by these lines; "It's a hot, sticky night tonight, in this little corner of the ever-expanding Universe – where we are because we must be, and I am because I am." Beautifully penned.❤️

    Lots of love,

  15. I watched Brian Cox smile sweetly from the screen
    as he told us, 'No-one knows why. It can be whatever
    you choose!

    It is entirely up to us. No one needs to influence when it comes to beliefs and faith. It is one of our own choosing!


  16. I love the way you bring the different senses into your descriptions...(I saw on telly, I could smell my skin, the taste of warm milk, I listened, trying to explain) for what can inform our questions of existence better than sensory experience!!

  17. Faith leads us to God down diverse roads, and we each have a very individual sense of who He is, but the knowing reassures us. I am who I am too!

  18. we as humans have free will, we can believe in god/creator the choice is ours. I do believe in a higher source of power. Your ending is very profound spoken words from a higher consciousness. "I am, because I am"

    where we are
    because we must be, and I am because I am.

  19. Rosemary - this is just a magical, mystical, brilliant, philosophical... oh I've run out of words. Wow!

  20. A simple question....a complex question...perhaps we don't have the words? Or all the words mean the same thing? After all we are talking about thoughts. I like to say I am thinking about it, as thinking is active, while to say I believe, is passive, end of conversation. I think there is enough space to think, and to allow everyone else to think. No right answers here. But I'm glad you shared your thoughts.

  21. This is wonderfully drawn. You have conferred a lovely peacefulness and acceptance on these lines that provides a serene setting to your theme.

    As Thomas Aquinas wrote: To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

    When it comes to faith, it really IS because it IS. As I AM because I AM.

    A thought provoking piece, Rosemary.

  22. Sigh... I am because I am- perfect!

  23. I felt really placed in your poem ... with the risotto, the sarong and conversation.