Thursday, September 29, 2016


image from


“Faith without doubt leads to moral arrogance, which
is the eternal pratfall of the religiously convinced.”
--Joe Klein.
                                 a girl’s name
                              could be, or a boy’s
                       --to wear, to carry to defend
                 like a tattooed lace collar, or plucked

for me,
always pops
up false, like a
simpleton’s trembling
smile, or those spinning
metal duck targets in a carnival
shooting gallery.

                                                   as a child,
                                                   I found the bright
                                                   zealous eyes of the faithful
            a sell-out,
                   false & phony,
                           the worshipping

We see that faith
      and subsequent belief systems,
                go hand in hand, go steady like
                      some junior high crush, and that
                   relationship is as fragile as a
               paper mache boat--too easily
          sinkable, unbalanced, unhinged
without wheels, without genuine
propulsion--yet claiming, even
boasting of its stability.

Faith, by definition, is a strong belief in something
of/for which there is no empirical truth, an admission
& a celebration of ignorance--where someone buys
the con, the premise & moves into a compound in
Waco, or a village in Guayana, or travels to Syria
to learn how to kill Infidels, rape young boys, suppress
women, & literally reverse reality, shifting it back into
the barbaric past, or elect a pompous arrogant
billionaire who makes promises of change based upon
sleight of hand & the pernicious greed of the 1%. 

So here I stand, absent of faith in our government,
politicians or the police, with my acrid skepticism
being reinforced daily.

Perhaps faith itself
is not a false journey, and
we must accept that
our personal choices do
demonstrate our need for it.             

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub MTB


brudberg said...

Enjoyed this twist a lot. The perspective of faith tends to be too often seen as something important, a belief and moral guideline, but could often lead astray... the faithless might find new paths to walk instead of walking right over the edge... still believing... like the end of 1984, where it's not enough to kill the faithless, he has to walk willingly loving big brother.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, what an interpretation, writing not on a 'thing', but a stance. Great work, Glenn. I admire this very much.

Kim Russell said...

Wow, Glenn, this is something else! I love those shapes and the way the poem moves from a simple name all the way through the nuances of the word to a statement of non-faith - so honest and beautifully expressed.

Brian said...

This is biting, scathing, ruthless indictment of the faithless rulers and plutocrats who dominate the airwaves and ballot boxes. Well done and keep the faith that there are many who share your stance.

Kate Mia said...

Hi FriEnd Glenn..
i personAlly like Fowler's Definition oF Faith
as changing/evolving across the lifespan.. not unlike
Stages of Development in
Maslow's 6 level pyramid..
in hierarchy way too..

As taken directly heRE
From Wiki as preSented here on the topic of Faith..

"James W. Fowler (1940-2015) proposes a series of stages of faith-development (or spiritual development) across the human life-span. His stages relate closely to the work of Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg regarding aspects of psychological development in children and adults. Fowler defines faith as an activity of trusting, committing, and relating to the world based on a set of assumptions of how one is related to others and the world.

Stages of faith

Intuitive-Projective: a stage of confusion and of high impressionability through stories and rituals. (Pre-school period)

Mythic-Literal: a stage where provided information is accepted in order to conform with social norms. (School-going period)

Synthetic-Conventional: In this stage the faith acquired is concreted in the belief system with the forgoing of personification
and replacement with authority in individuals or groups that represent one's beliefs. (Early-late adolescence)

Individuative-Reflective: In this stage the individual critically analyzes adopted and accepted faith with existing systems of faith. Disillusion or strengthening of faith happens in this stage. Based on needs, experiences and paradoxes. (Early adulthood)

Conjunctive faith: In this stage people realize the limits of logic and, facing the paradoxes or transcendence of life, accept the "mystery of life" and often return to the sacred stories and symbols of the pre-acquired or re-adopted faith system. This stage is called negotiated settling in life. (Mid-life)

Universalizing faith: This is the "enlightenment" stage where the individual comes out of all the existing systems of faith and lives life with universal principles of compassion and love and in service to others for upliftment, without worries and doubt. (Middle - late adulthood (45-65yrs and plus)"

When i was ill and forced as a shut-in for 66 months in the
Home.. etc.. my car in.. A Walmart
Parking Lot while my wife shopped..
as i sometimes tolerated the eye
pain a few seconds in shades view
to watch folks go
through the
doors of consumerism
21st century style..
nary a smile
that lasted
on any adult's
face under the age
of 60 or so.. i like to think..
that at least some of them got
up to Level 6 as Lord kNows many
in the
dead StiLL
stuck on Level three
or even no Faith at all..
Faith as trust in the existential
reaLiTy of existence.. IS A pARt of Humanity
that is sadly groWing more lost as days go by..
there is
Wiki.. hehe..
and a potential
way uP
with God
as Nature within
in BaLanCinG way full
of compassion... in loving
sharing giving fearless reAlly sMaRt
way wHeRe the only tight rope and Balloons
to use are those of kNow with SensE and FeeL
of Fearless
mY FriENd.. noW..
otHer than that.. Now
yes.. more or less Faith
can be a waste of time
if with no substance..
no essence
oF iSREaL noW2..:)

Frank Hubeny said...

What worries me the most is not what I think is true but what I take for granted is true. I could believe or have faith in what I think is true, but I am usually unaware of what I take for granted.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Love the twists here and oh the shapes moving along with the lines are so artistic! 💖
Beautifully done

De said...

Glenn, this bobs, then weaves a story, then punches you in the gut in just the right way. Truth.

Grace said...

Sadly we can all lose faith in our government and the way everything seems manipulated to serve the interests of 1%. But personal faith is deep and personal. I just hate the way religion is used as an excuse for barbaric actions against humanity. Enjoyed the flow and reflections Glenn ~ Appreciate your support ~

Victoria Ceretto-Slotto said...

Wow, you took such an ethereal construct to deconstruct...and make so many good point. Google doesn't let us go back and check on what you wrote but that opening quote was so powerful. Only doubt gives relief to faith, keeps us having to continue to choose again and again. It saddens me when so many harm the image of faith. The true test is in the living, not appearance. And then, there is the government. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

for me,
always pops
up false, like a
simpleton’s trembling
smile, or those spinning
metal duck targets in a carnival
shooting gallery.
.... original and brilliant. Love this bit especially.

Petru Viljoen said...

I really, really needed to hear this expressed by someone else with a mind to go with it. You've no idea what I encountered, again, just this morning - by the so-called faithful. said...

Once again, amazing. I find it quite insightful that you begin with the name faith and then move on to the naming of faith -- defining it is naming it. And then relating it to yourself and the final lines - the lesson for all. The form and flow is wonderful!

littlelearner said...

An interesting journey through faith.
I LOVE the way in which you have constructed the poem.

Walt Wojtanik said...

Your words without your "style" is equally as impressive. When you add your flair and presentation, your words become outstanding. I learn much from reading your brilliance, Glenn!

kaykuala said...

You always make it interestingly different Glenn! The subject matter invokes the thinking process of an intellectual most times! Faith as one understands it is very much a personal preference. It has a lot to do with one's own convictions above all else. Great!


Toni Spencer said...

Sad poem about faith or lack thereof. I find this to be your usual style of poem. It does remind me that to the homeless, the hungry...we are the one percent.