Thus spake

For dverse. No, it doesn’t make sense.

The starry sky is out of reach,
A windswept hill, a lonely beach,
And did he dare, wise Mr Nietzsche,
To eat a peach, to eat a peach?

They say the world spins round and round
Upon its axis, not a sound,
Yet Zarathustra spake and drowned
Orion’s hound, Orion’s hound.

What stars! What dark and purple light
Pours down to decorate the night
With spikes and spears of hate and spite—
I hear them fight, I hear them fight.

The constellations wheel and leap
When we’re abed, but if you peep,
You’ll hear the humming moon and weep.
We’ve murdered sleep, we’ve murdered sleep.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

48 thoughts on “Thus spake”

  1. “Nonsense with a tenuous thread of sense running through it” 🙂 I especially like the third stanza and think it flows well with the last one.

  2. I hear you loud and clear. Your strong voice comes through, despite the grim message.

    You’ll hear the humming moon and weep.
    We’ve murdered sleep, we’ve murdered sleep.

    1. Thank you. I expected that you would ‘hear’ it properly. I’m always surprised how so many of us just count syllables and don’t hear that the beats aren’t in the right places.

  3. This is incredible! I love the references to space and philosophers. I don’t know enough to probably truly appreciate them but your poem made me smile and be amazed. Fantastic!

      1. Oh yes. Words and sounds and images. You speak my language. By the way, I took your advice on the river poem and changed that second last line. I also changed the last line. It’s not as much of a protest but I think the emotion is there. 🤞🤞

      2. I’ve just been to read and I think it’s so much better! You make the same point but it fits in with the river and stone imagery without standing out like a raised fist. I also like the change in the last line, which I didn’t much like but didn’t like to mention 🙂 It scans better and makes perfect sense.

      3. I’m glad to have helped. On the other hand, you actually responded positively to the criticism on your post, so you were open to suggestion from another pair of eyes. Most people aren’t. I’ve given up expecting constructive criticism because most people are afraid of offending. But I don’t like dishonesty. It’s one thing to gloss over that albatross doesn’t rhyme with tricycle, but to go overboard with praise for the poet’s rhyming skills is just insincere.

      4. Yes, as I have told John, I did a writing degree in which workshops involved everyone having a say about your writing. Getting offended wasn’t part of it. You just have to decide which bits you listen to because, of course, it doesn’t all agree. And, as with all art, it is subjective.

      5. Yes, some opinions carry more weight than others. But you don’t have to be a writer to have an informed opinion, and not everyone who writes is a writer. You’re probably more likely to get sincere comments from a random browser, who has chosen to read your piece out of hundreds in their reader, than you are by members of an online writing group where exchanging compliments is a major part of the deal.

  4. Oh this is brilliant! I admire how you weave the references of the philosophers through the constellations and those final lines are haunting. Bravo!

    1. There are unintentional connections, in the sense that I didn’t try to make sense, but even in a stream of consciousness, we only have our own thoughts to let flow.

  5. I got a sense of William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ – I think it was the lines :
    ‘What stars! What dark and purple light
    Pours down to decorate the night’.

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