chaos blue fractals
Chaos Fractal Paradigm


I understand
The Butterfly Effect, Chaos Theory, The Law of Attraction;

I understand
Karma, Kismet, and Self-Determism.

I understand
The Big Bang Theory, Darwinism, and

a howling crescendo of Creationism credos, West to East,
Symbolic Myth that seeks to tattoo scowling Fact
on its naked torso with blunt needles and dicey ink,

and the
slippery steeples, spires and domes of Religious Afterlife.

What I do not understand:
this desperate, day-and-night need to be told,
without an iota of doubt, by one that knows
the terror and ecstasy of being inside human skin,

there’s nothing to worry about.


About Luke Prater

I am thirty-five, and live in England. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but I'd argue the opposite.
This entry was posted in Luke Prater, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Understanding

  1. Dark Angel says:

    For some to “live and let live” is a most difficult undertaking. I especially love the 4th stanza Luke.

  2. othermary says:

    I don’t understand that either. Well said.

  3. Beth Winter says:

    Yes, the right ending. Bravo

  4. claudia says:

    the terror and ecstasy of being inside human skin….ha…yes…it’s both…and sometimes the most complicated things in the world are easier to understand than what goes on inside us..

  5. ManicDdaily says:

    This is quite wonderful, Luke. Though actually, I find myself the opposite sometimes – I don’t understand the theories (at least not in their particularity) and I certainly don’t understand the clinging to creationsism – but I very much understand the wish to be told that there is nothing to worry about, that all will be okay, etc. I’m not sure I understand the belief in those words — but I very much understand the wish to hear them!

    That said, the poem works super well from the other point of view, and I sense that there may be some irony about the close as well – given the knowledge of terror and ecstasy on that perhaps-tattooed skin. This kind of charges to a close – wonderful momentum. Love especially the dicey ink. k.

    • Luke Prater says:

      Thanks K – regarding Creationism – I don’t understand clinging to it either, I meant I understand the concept and know many of the religious creation myths from around the world. Symbolic myths they are, and often awe-inspiring stories. Literal, they are not to be taken (in my opinion). Cheers

  6. Rayona says:

    I don’t understand, but I try. It’s a hard one and a hard topic to talk about. The best we can do is try. Many of us ignore it but you have brought it up, well done for that :)

    • Luke Prater says:

      Topic, or topics, plural. I rule out nothing but our human weaknesses and primal fears. Though clearly I’m not a religious fundamentalist. I don’t buy all those scientific theories either. It’s less of an opinion piece than the ‘I’ of the title and Narrative would make out. Thanks Rayona, glad you came by

  7. brian miller says:

    we all have our theories…trying to make life a bit more contained or acceptable…understandable…to give us comfort and a feeling of control even when we dont have it…i have a hard time with those always chipped, always on the bright side that never show their lumps…its not real to me at that point…cool write man…good to see you

  8. beckykilsby says:

    What I find most powerful – and satisfying – here, is the assurance of the poetry that allows the intellectual premise to rise gradually towards a ‘howling crescendo’ and then, by the force of the single final line, embodies the inadequacy and emptiness of a certain point of view. I don’t know how long it took to polish that effect, but it reads like a sweep of music that carries the listener to an inevitable conclusion.

    ‘dicey ink’ must be one of my all-time favourites of yours. Plenty of pleasure and thought to be had.. the beauty of poetry. Good to read your work again Luke.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As ALWAYS..amazing!

    • Luke Prater says:

      Well you know a huge number of us have admired your work for centuries, Anon. What is your secret to such longevity? And your versatility… well..

  10. Luke Prater says:

    Thanks all for the responses. You are appreciated

  11. Strong piece Luke. The first five magnificently set up the finale, an outstanding one at that. Thanks

  12. a very stunning poem and the pleasure surely was mine in reading, thanks for sharing

  13. hypercryptical says:

    Excellent Luke.

    I don’t understand it either. I worry about the future – what we are doing to our world. I worry about the future – the way we appear intent in destroying our own species in the name of God or Greed – or both.

    I worry more when told there is nothing to worry about…

    Anna :o]

  14. janehewey says:

    excellent title. I think I saw another version of this, maybe on facebook, can’t recall it but this latest version is smooth, in a readable way, and still catches me pondering long the topic. I enjoy your deep playfulness with the word Understanding. Hence, my enjoyment of the title. Great piece, LUke.

  15. ruepoetry says:

    I guess I’m reading this in a different way, you know, from behind my own experience, so it feels like a letting loose of some feeling, some need that cannot be shaken. I like that it could be read as an intellectual poem, but also in that way, in the way that it is the narrator asking a question about himself. Like ‘why can’t I just be still and wait’ or something of that nature. I understand little, and most days I find that to be a good thing- others, well…

    Great poetry, Luke.

  16. Simple, elegant, very powerful!
    The art of understanding- “understand more to fear less” wise people say, to me is the opposite, the less you know about something the better …

  17. Jack says:

    I love the contrast of beginning and end, like, no matter how much is understood, the real focus is on a befuddling part of life.

    Also, most poems that have a list come off as being bloated and filler-y. Your list of concepts here, however, was integral to the piece. Fantastic read once again.

comments welcome, crit encouraged