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Poem: "Since Reason Is Incapable" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Since Reason Is Incapable"

This poem came out of the November 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from ng_moonmoth and siliconshaman.  It also fills the "holding one's ground" square on my 9-29-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by ng_moonmoth.  It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Since Reason Is Incapable

The Lacuna was, by its very nature,
immutably caught between the Galactic Arms,
with the Carina-Sagittarius Arm on the inside
and the Orion-Cygnus Arm on the outside.

There was peace for the present,
at least in the sense that
nobody was actively shooting
at anybody else.

The problem was that the two sides
still did not like  each other,
or agree on anything --
except perhaps that the Lacuna
was rather in their way --
which maintained a certain tension.

The Arms kept trying to sneak around
the edges and gain control of the Lacuna,
or better yet, find some way
to nibble at each other's territory.

It was less like a game of chess
and more like backgammon.

They moved small pieces
first here, then there,
stacking and unstacking them
and clacking the chips together
in an effort to unnerve their opponent.

From inside the Lacuna
it was all very tiresome,
particularly since it was obvious
to them that this was not
the kind of game that
anyone could ever really win.

The nature of the space
declared a deadlock --
the transists were too long
to sustain a hot war --
not for lack of trying.

It was Hootowl who finally declared,
"Since reason is incapable
of making you see eye-to-eye,
you will just have to learn
to work around that."

There were places at the far ends
of the Lacuna, just inside the edges
beyond which the galactic riptides
made space impassable for a span,
where it was feasible to allow
a few ships to fly through from one
Arm to the other without disrupting
the lanes starting to stabilize 
within the Lacuna proper.

It was enough to let off the pressure
between the Arms, and to gain
another little trickle of supplies
in addition to what the smugglers brought.

"How will you enforce this?" General Fallon grumbled.

"You dropped the best spies of two armies down here,"
Hootowl replied.  "Do you really want to find out?"

If no one actually won, well,
no one quite lost either,
and that was a victory of sorts.

* * *


“Where am I, or what? From what causes do I derive my existence, and to what condition shall I return? ... I am confounded with all these questions, and begin to fancy myself in the most deplorable condition imaginable, environed with the deepest darkness, and utterly deprived of the use of every member and faculty.

Most fortunately it happens, that since Reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, Nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends. And when, after three or four hours' amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther.”
― David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

The Great Game is a reference to political history.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: December 8th, 2014 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Hume is right. You can't have logic, or science, without axioms, and since you Kan't get out of your head to judge objectively, *everything* is a value judgement. The fact that we have a consensus of observation, regardless of our opinion, is the only thing that keeps us from chucking the whole thing and taking the blue pill.

Enforcing peace is considerably harder than waging war... but it *is* doable, with enough little grey cells. Sometimes keeping the siblings from each others' throats is victory enough.
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 22nd, 2017 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
>>since you Kan't get out of your head<<

I see your pun.

From: julia kolb Date: August 31st, 2015 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)


it's actually very cool, what they have going
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 31st, 2015 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Anomalous

Yay! I'm glad that you're enjoying it. I wanted to explore how the culture would develop, and one aspect is that they tend toward very creative, nonviolent solutions. Because to them, both armies look kind of stupid.
4 comments or Leave a comment