You Never Can Tell What Stage You’re At

You Never Can Tell What Stage You’re At

You cannot tell what stage you’re at.
You simply cannot see it.
Oh, you can compare,
Sometimes aware of highs and lows,
The glows in others and yourself,
But deep inside, where knowledge grows
In secret, by accumulation – there
Where flaws are balanced out,
Leaps are made and hurdles cleared
Through secret routes, unknown
To even he who owns the lot –
There, where they’re first set and graded,
Met then faded out –
It’s there to which there’s no access
And it’s of little use to guess
What’s going on, while what is going on goes on. Oh yes,
You think you know yourself;
You see results and where you’ve failed or sailed through:
That’s you alright: partial you;
A hidden, most potential you.
You never know your stage.
But if you’re very good and kind – a little sage,
You get a glimpse of things to come;
Hints that you’ve removed the scum;
A tiny slice no longer slum,
And just enough to keep you crowing,
The best is to keep on going,
Concentrating on a something
You don’t even know is there;
So elusive that you’d swear
It never was, except for books: saints,
Men and women: claimants –
Just like you – who won.

You Never Can Tell What Stage You’re At 3.23.1995/reworked 4.11.2018 Definitely Didactic; Arlene Corwin


Covering The Arguments

Covering The Arguments


What does it do

To the personal you

If I blaspheme or blast off?

Do you think that God minds,

Is insulted by minds that are blind?

God is bigger than that.

He laughs at the ill-behaved brat

‘Cause He loves a good joke.

He loves the whole earth

While he waits for us patiently birth after birth.

He’s such a nice bloke

You can talk to Him any which way that you feel:

Feeling is only like smoke.


Covering The Arguments 2.24.1995/4.23.2005

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; To The Child Mystic; God Book;

Arlene Corwin




Inclusive/Exclusive 5.3.1995

Inclusive Exclusive


I heard them talking.

Back and forth they talked about

The universal gout;

Secular society’s exclusion of the concept ‘evil’.

Focusing on genocide – pride in killing off a race –

They harkened back to World War Two –

To Pole, gay, Gypsy, Marxist, Jew –

When one mustachioed-crazed face

Decided to kill off a race that never even was a race.

“How does it come about, they asked.

-And how can we prevent it?

There was rabbi, priest from West, East.

“Can we kill the killing beast

And turn the killing to a feast

And universal peace?” They were erudite alright.

Not right, bur erudite.

One said that we must teach the whelps.

Education is what helps.

One said that we can’t burn the seed,

So punish those that do the deed,

Chase the villains, make them bleed –

Justice must be served and seen. The cause was man alone.

But where was God, I heard me groan.

The priest and rabbi, smart but green,

-Oh God was there, but cause was man.

The cause was man?

How can the cause be man

When God is absoluter than…

First cause and seed, the first split second all decreed.

All that follows fulfills need.

It seemed so plainful clear to me.

It followed as the night the day

That even murdered masses stay

Within the scope of God’s good meaning.

If God is and still they die,

There’s meaning somewhere in the sky

And meaning must be dying’s seeming,

Any other meaning dreaming.

Back to rabbi and to priest:

Back and forth they sought solutions.

I could see a key, a yeast

Which, when increasing, chokes pollutions:

Leave the club that says “exclusive”.

Join the club that has “inclusive” on the door.

It isn’t easy not to hate, not easy to include the Yids,

The blacks, the gays; teach yourself and teach the kids.

But it’s the gate. We are the geno of the cide

Try taking God on this queer ride.

A good way to begin; to make a circle drawing in

Someone whose eye you catch,

Who chances near, who seeks your ear,

Who forms the batch of living skin

That happens to fall in your patch.

Include the wretch you are, as well.

Tell, yell and ring this bell.

To make a heaven out of hell, include!


Inclusive/Exclusive 5.23.1995

Definitely Didactic; Our Times, Our Culture; God Book;

Arlene Corwin

A Cat Is A Most Polite Animal 1995

A Cat Is A Most Polite Animal


There he lies at the foot of my bed.

Here I sit as I write at its head:

Papers strewn, bits here, scraps there.

He never crinkles, wrinkles, tears,

Only getting, every now and then

An urge to lunge… at

Flies in summer, whizzing gnats.

He never crushes objects near, it being clear

Cats are polite and delicate –

Tasteful and the perfect gymnast:

Olga Corbut of the bed.

I ought to tap my deeper thoughts –

The ones with bolts – the ones with nuts.

It’s reddening that one can only

Talk of cats.

He’s just a cat!

But I am filled with admiration.

Not just wonder: admiration!

I admire you, oh cat – respect you!

And this feeling makes me fuller, nicer –

All in all, enhancing slices [of a life],

By thimblefuls.

What do you think of that, oh cat?

You don’t care.

That’s what’s so nice.

My life’s enhanced.  You dream of mice.


A Cat Is A Most Polite Animal .9.14 .1995

Circling Round Nature; Cat Book;

Arlene Corwin

Faith Is A Chemical Dynamic 1995/2013

Faith Is A Chemical Dynamic

Faith is a chemical dynamic

Affecting cells, making them fresh:

(The celestial and flesh)

Not a dogma, cant –

More pledge, a pact;

The brain engrained in wish and want

With roots spread out in waiting

For a door to open wide,

And you a bride inside.

Faith sanctifies.

It unifies.

It systematizes without system,

Sees the thread in things uncommon,

Making fractions into one:

It always gives an added power,

Energy beyond the hour;

Puts a slant on everything,

(Which is its strength and shortcoming.)

You never go beyond its vision,

Never get beyond its zone.

No clever man or master plan

Or great endeavor pulls the lever.

In itself a friendly law,

It is specific to your wishes.

Faith is bound by its tradition.

Nothing great can be erected,

Nothing lasting be affected.

Leave the hills, reach for the stars:

Faith is chemically dynamic.

Faith Is A Chemical Dynamic 7.17.1995/2013

Nature Of & In Reality; To The Child Mystic; Circling Round Science;

Arlene Corwin


Blues In The Winter 1995/2013

Blues In The Winter

This is the time to reflect on your karma,

It’s laws: this to that and choices that suit.

Time to reflect over dharma,

Your flaws; how the causes bear fruit;

This is the time for the un’s and the non’s:

Unflustered, unuffled, non-violent dispute.

Look at continuum’s window of nature:

Trees letting go of their leaves without fuss,

Grieve-less their rustle;

Adjusting to autumn and shortening days

Taking the lengthening rays and not

One mumbled moan about dying awhile.

We, kicking, screaming and dreaming up loss,

Cross out repose,

Our missile 

                        of brightness.

This is the time…

Blues In The Winter 10.4.1995/revised 1.24.2013

Circling Round Nature; I Is Always You Is We; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin

The Witnesses 1995

The Witnesses


There are two ladies coming to the house.

They walk through rain and wood to get here.

They’re most kind

And if I mind, they’ll stop –

I haven’t tested them.  It’s possible I will.

They do not t tramp on toes;

They’re most instructive and compelling.

That I’m Jewish and Vedantic makes me one of those

On whom they just adore whetting their drill, er, skill.

It’s early days.

They’ve got their ways of pushing, I suppose.

Still, I enjoy their efforts and their readings.

Who is fortunate enough to have two teachers filled

With reverence and references,

Deference and temperance,

Preferences and non-offensive

Girlish blind exuberance –

And full and total certainty

They’ve got the key

To me and my deliverance,

Deliverance and me.


The Witnesses 12.12.1995

Our Times, Our Culture;

Arlene Corwin



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