Sunday, July 12, 2009

In Truth

This poem was written as I fooled around with ideas for Jason's Clarity of Night "In Vino Veritas" contest. In the end, I entered, using the beginning lines of this as the germ of the idea. If you have a thirst for flash fiction, check out Jason's contest. I'm number 64.

In truth, there is no fiction.

This hand is tan?

It’s green, say I, or other hue,

As real for me as tan for you.

What of the man who has no eyes?

Does color not exist, or does he see

Reality but with a different twist?

In truth, there is no contest.

If no contestants try

To win the prize in others’ eyes,

Then what is second best?

In truth, there is no beauty,

Though poor John Keats has said,

But truth denies where beauty lies

And Keats, alas, is dead.

In truth, there is no reason

Nor rhyme behind this verse

Beyond the thought that this was wrought

Because a lie is worse.


  1. As Buddha said, "It's all an illusion." Love, love, LOVE this! Blessings!!

  2. Gotta say that this made me giggle very rambunctiously.

  3. I love your use of rhyme in this and the way it challenges old addages. Really fun, but also perceptive.


  4. Marion - I've had discussions with my husband many times about the nature of truth, perception, reality, illusion...absolute truth. I'll have to remember what Buddha said since he's getting tired of Hamlet's "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Not that I believe it, but it keeps the argument going... ;-)

    Cat - Love that I made you laugh. That's a good thing!

    Kat - Thanks for the comments on rhyme and meaning.

    laughingwolf - :-D

  5. Like Kat, I'd also comment on how well the rhyme is handled, & I also like the twists on adages. Well done!

  6. Hi, Karen. I love that last stanza! I also love the lines "In truth, there is no fiction," "In truth, there is no contest" and "In truth, there is no reason." Those lines are great for the form of the poem, but they also make me think deeply.

    The questions you ask are also awesome, especially the stanza about color and the blind man. It's a great point. I had a hard time in philosophy class, because the teacher insisted there were no absolute truths. I kept telling her that rape is wrong. Murder is wrong. She kept telling me that I'm too simple. LOL! Probably true. I enjoy the questions, though.

    Anyway, I like the way you approach it much better than she did. You should teach philosophy. Awesome work, sis!

  7. this made me think of a line from "for whom the bell tolls" - "and if there is not any such thing as a long time, nor the rest of your lives, nor from now on, but there is only now, why then now is the thing to praise and i am very happy with it."

    keats may be dead, but the muse still whispers. the last stanza is one for the ages!

  8. John - Much thanks! It's interesting what pops when one isn't really trying sometimes.

    Julie - Thanks to you, too! I've been called "deep" - oh, no wait a minute -- that was "dip" I think! LOL Actually, when I was young, I knew enough to keep my mouth closed, and people mistook that for depth. Now, I'm just fiesty enough to open my mouth, and they've lost all their illusions!

    Seriously, though, I do ponder the idea of absolutes in this world of relativism. I'm convinced that some things are lines across which you do not venture, no matter the circumstance (then I pray never to be tested).

    As always, you're way too good to me! Thank you, thank you!

    joaquin - Hemingway? He of the spare language? I have to admit I haven't read this one, but with a line like that, I think maybe I'd better! Thank you for your very nice comment about the muse and the last stanza. You make me smile. Wide.

  9. Interesting poem on the idea of truth, liked the green/tan question... mm... I don't know about truth. I mean I don't subscribe to the postmodern idea that there is no central truth, but as you say in the end the not truth is better than a lie. That's assuming that exists...he he..
    Nice one, made me smile and feel good.

    Have a lovely day,


  10. I just had to come back and comment on your story. I commented over there, but I forgot to include how much I love the sentences about the greasy hair and sweat stain on his shirt, etc. Wonderful details. In my opinion, those well placed details are what makes flash work. (Even though my flash sucks, I still have opinions about how it works...ha! ha!) I love yours!

  11. If that's what you do when you fool around, whatever do you do when you get serious?

  12. Sarah - I'm glad I made you smile. Spreading that is a gooood thing! I've missed you; hope the book is going well and you're enjoying the family this summer.

    Julie - Thank you! After reading so many good pieces at Clariy of Night, I wish I'd had sense enough to just comment on others' work and keep my dignity! Oh, well -- I started with a blank page, so that's SOMETHING! Right? Thanks for your comments here and there. I'm feeling right pitiful in the flash fiction category! LOL

    Dave - Now that's a compliment. Made my day!

  13. That was a fun twist of language and ideas in this poem. :)

  14. hi karen dear/dare:)

    ENJOYED your ss at Jason's --left my pawprint there; now i dare leave my footprint here/hear! A poet thou art, me asSpirant wan:) Che3ers,YL

    PS: Your poem sets me thinking hard/heart about Truth and Reality indeed. Thinking allowed, I'd like to exchange my Anthology -- "scribbled" one! -- if you have published work to spare. (REF: July 7, 2007 entry at desi's blog...doing some PR hear!:)

  15. Karen
    Love the twists and turns and circles around in this one. Well done!

  16. You've got me thinking about colors. Scientifically speaking, when we see a certain color such as blue, what that really means is "not blue." All the colors are absorbed except for blue, and that's why we see it.

    I've read 130 entries, and I thought I commented on all of them. Now I have to go back and see whether I skipped over this thought-provoking poem. Nice work!

  17. Oh I absolutely love this. But you were always super-great in poetry so I loved to read some fiction from you. :D

    What are the odds that you mentioned "What of the man who has no eyes?" in the piece that you didn't send in as an entry.

    I'll post mine that I didn't too. I wrote on those eyes too. :)

  18. Jana - I'm looking and looking for you at Clarity of Night! I hope you haven't been running from this one!

    desiderata - YL, Thanks for visiting here and leaving your comments at CoN. I'll be by your place as soon as I can read through the other hundred or so entries at Jason's.

    Linda - It's always a pleasure to hear from you. I appreciate the comments and am glad to see you're posting some things again after a little hiatus.

    JR - You got me there, although poetry is my genre, so the flash piece wasn't memorable. I'm glad you came by here, though. Thanks.

    Ani - What are the odds? Can't wait to see yours! The contest has been great, and I am amazed at you, JR, and Catherine - the writer's friends in blogging! I'm headed back there to try to catch up, although I doubt I'll get a chance to read them all. I do want to say that your writing and your comments have matured since Ascension! We have Jason to thank for our friendship and our growth. Let's toast! A big glass of red wine... :-D

  19. To Jason and all the wonderful friends he got us.


    PS: I still have 45 more to go. Weekdays have slowed me down. Things are pretty bad in office. :(

    Feed count of non-participators blogs has also reached to 53. Huh. I don't want to miss out on them either. :(

    Saturday better come damn soon. :P

  20. Oh I had a blast with friends tonight. Too drunk to post intellectual comments. (I hope I spelled intellectual right.. tee hee)

    But then again, most of them dun know me so I can pass away as a non-intellectual which I am totally not, right?

    I should only be talking to Janey in this stat I guess. :D :D

  21. This is wonderful, Karen and you are a poet and a philosopher. Love that!

    I was just now thinking that I like your husband if he's the kind of husband that sits with you and discusses things. That's a keeper for sure. It's funny, I not only have a height requirement for a guy, but an intelligent open-mindedness one as well...;)

    have a lovely weekend~

  22. Aniket - How's the headache?

    Calli - Thank you. Yes, the husband is a keeper! Still married after 36 years -- of course, I was a child, you understand...

    Thank you.

  23. I enjoyed reading a different style of your writing as you addressed philosophy.This brings back memories of stimulating discussions (or debates!) because I am one, like many of us, who questioned from early on. Oh, your poem flows and begs for ponderance and discussion. Love it! We share a love of philosophy in our immediate family. My husband was a philosophy major and our daughter recently found that she enjoys those courses, too. Keeps us on our toes. I look foward to sharing this poem with them.

  24. Thanks, Lynne. We, too, think and think and talk ad infinitum or ad nauseum, depending on the day, the time, the topic.

    Sorry to have just gotten back here. I'm going to have to figure out a way of being notified of postings.

  25. Karen -,

    I can help you with that:

    Go to Dashboard - Settings -Comments - Comment Notification Email and put your mail id there.

    You'll be notified of any comments on your blog. :P

  26. Thanks, Ani. See how long it took me to find this one? I'll do that!