Why . . .

Why . . .

A Poem by kentuck14

WHY. . .

“According to postmodernism , nothing we
think we know can be checked against reality
as such . . .  Postmodernists, in short, are
committed to an endless stream of shifting
‘whatevers’.”
             ---
James W. Sire in
            ‘The Universe Next Door’


Of all the analytical questions we ask
    of life---
        the when, the where,

the what, and even the who---the why
    of things strikes
        in us the greatest fear,

sometimes leaving us feeling lost with
    a sense of  awesome chaos---
        like wearing

clashing colors and disparate designs;
    helplessness as we watch storms
        that come---warm air
            meeting cold;

unconnected as when manic meets depressive
    at a party: too big a why becomes
        a huge collision
            of desperate

uncertainties, unanswerable questions,
    loss of confidence
        that the laws of nature

will continue working as you’ve witnessed
    from the day
        you first used reason

as a tool, a method of knowing, a way to
    get a grip on reality.
        Think of the many

whys you asked as a child, never receiving
     an answer
        you could understand.

Why was an innocent question, a quasi-quest,
    a flavor you could try
        and easily put aside.
Why used to be fun, an exciting game,
    a reasonable way of
        exploring the world.

Why used to take us to places we’d
    never been, ideas that
        stirred romance in our soul.

Somewhere, somehow, why became a
    menacing word,
         a mangled wreak,
              a crazy interjection

of “mild indignation, surprise or impatience.”
    And though we would like answers,
        are afraid

they won’t tell us what we want to know,
    manipulating us
        into thinking what

we don’t want to think, believing what we
    don’t want to believe, changing what
        we don’t want to change.

Now the whys seem a pesky nuisance,
    a fly on life’s salad or steak,
        an inconvenience

in the senseless busyness of mindless living.
    Why’s become an orphan; even
        philosophy & science skip
            the questions before
                giving its answers;

much religion jumps straight to ritual without
    reward to mind or heart,
        without challenge to the status quo.

Of all the analytical questions we ask of life---
    the why of things
        strikes in us
            the greatest fear.

And here we sit . . . afraid to ask the all
    important why.            
    


        


© 2019 kentuck14


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i think as kids, when we asked that question of "why" we never got an explanation because the grown-ups never knew one to give...the "why" is scary...all the other questions have definitive answers....the who, what , where , when and how...but why?
in my classes we talk about that..."why" is the most important word in my classes...i want students to know why they are doing what they are doing....because if they learn that...it helps them get to solutions in the future...on purpose, not by accident.
j.

Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

kentuck14

2 Days Ago

J.
I'm glad this poem fits so well with your students and their education. Critical thinking .. read more



Reviews

Forgive this, my initial response to your wondrous grumble, rant, more! When i was small, five/six i'd asked too many why and why. Apparently our/my daddy gently scolded me for asking questions all the time. Was told years later that, standing, hands on hips I replied, 'You said if i don't ask questions, I'll never learn.' Can't remember being told I was cheeky, so, must have got away with it!
But, hey, how true is that, whatever the arguments and thoughts of your long, interesting, 'disuss please', writing, it's oh so true. WHY? is the unknown word for any explorer, quizmaster, stoic, saint, etc. Blind faith is one thing, discovering what faith means is another story, Blind love, dislike, doubt, trust and the like are all aspects of life that need questioning.. without them, institutions of all kinds would have folk hanging by their fingertips from exterior sills. (so many typos!)
Not at all sure I agree wholeheartedly about WHY creating the greatest fear unless Humankind prefers to be static, apathetic, scared witless. Agree or disagree, wholly or partially, your writing will stir a debate that could continue quite a while.. will certainly make me think with whatever my Why allows! Forgive again, this reaction is far too long.
Why, who knows.. let's ask!.

Posted 8 Hours Ago


kentuck14

5 Hours Ago

Emma,
Your "long" review is most welcome . . . thank you. You bring up some other interesting.. read more
When, as a child, I incessantly asked my mother “why”- she responded patly, “Because Y is a crooked letter!” Easy for her to say. Your most eloquent rant, treatise here, dissects a serious societal ennui. We don’t allocate time to ask the “why” and we don’t demand a cogent answer from the nebulous powers-that-be. Maybe it’s due to over-bombardment with external stimuli- espousing of the ‘fast-food’ electronic world? Your words search, provoke deep thinking, encourage problem-solving-Yes! A most important and excellently-written poem. Our world needs many less opiates and many, many more why’s. Kudos!

Posted 1 Day Ago


kentuck14

8 Hours Ago

A,
Your comments are most kind and very insightful. Critical thinking among the masses has go.. read more

The most succinct answer I could come up with in between catching my breath is 'Because as a species, we only fear what we dont understand'... eh' what.... cheers Tom

Posted 1 Day Ago


kentuck14

8 Hours Ago

This is very true, Nev. Thanks for commenting.
T
Loved this , the eternal question, written with great gusto, the language was a joy, the stylistic weave of your rant was great, why indeed,

Posted 3 Days Ago


kentuck14

2 Days Ago

G,
When I rant I get very stylistic . . . maybe that's why i rant so often. Seriously though,.. read more
i think as kids, when we asked that question of "why" we never got an explanation because the grown-ups never knew one to give...the "why" is scary...all the other questions have definitive answers....the who, what , where , when and how...but why?
in my classes we talk about that..."why" is the most important word in my classes...i want students to know why they are doing what they are doing....because if they learn that...it helps them get to solutions in the future...on purpose, not by accident.
j.

Posted 3 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

kentuck14

2 Days Ago

J.
I'm glad this poem fits so well with your students and their education. Critical thinking .. read more
Another quasi philosophical analysis of everyday language, how it is used and changes over time and with age. Love the tilt at science and religion for ducking the why! Another entertaining and flowing freeverse to make the reader connect and think!

Posted 3 Days Ago


kentuck14

2 Days Ago

"Quasi" is right!!! Thanks John for your kind words.
T.

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Added on June 12, 2019
Last Updated on June 12, 2019

Author

kentuck14
kentuck14

Lexington, KY



About
Started reading and writing poetry while in the Army many years ago. I picked up a book of poems by Leonard Cohen in a bookshop on Monterrey CA's Fisherman's Wharf and went on from there. I've had a n.. more..

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