Monday, 5 October 2015

Horses and Fish

Hi, sorry it's been so long with the blog posts, but here's another one; and I promise some more soon.

This time I've written a couple of poems, they are about miracles. It is interesting to me that when the Gospel writers Luke, Mark, and Matthew write about the feeding of the 5000 (Matt 14, Mark 6, Luke 9) they do so very matter of fact way. Only John's Gospel claims a miracle, and so there's a few amusing stories about what might have happened. My favorite one is in the movie script (and subsequent novel) for the film 'Millions' - written there by screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Many claim the implausibility of miracles, based on the untrustworthiness* of people recording them, or the second hand nature of the stories and follow something like what I call 'Hume's sieve' (found here). If you apply a more probabilistic approach that's a totally reasonable thing to do, but they are recorded events, and so I also hold that any alternative explanation from "nothing like that ever happened at all" to "the crowd had all brought their own food anyway" should be subject to the same scrutiny. I don't really claim in my poems to know for sure what really happened, and they are to be taken as a bit of lighthearted intelligent fun, something which there isn't enough of in these sorts of debates. The second poem is a tad obscure (I'd be interested to know if someone gets all the references) and hyperbolic in it's claims, so not really to be taken too seriously.

* spellchecker doesn't think this is a word, but it should be

There's a fish in my Jacket

Certainly evening, or late in the day
when they all left
like a slow waterfall
in bits of dribble
dog's slobber it was
they said
nice showmanship though
raising his arms like that
always looking like a
human sized letter tau
they must have seeded the crowd
his followers, sown amongst us
hiding fish under their tunics
Where else did all the food come from?
But they left me wondering
these skeptics
which is the greater miracle
having bread appear beside us
like the dewfall
multiplication of five and two to fill
five thousands plus twelve
which incidentally is by integer if you look at it right
or having hundreds of plain clothes disciples
who all know sleight of hand

Horse's manure

I applied the works of Hume on miracles
the ones about not believing them,
unless it's more improbable that their storytellers
are just horsing around.
Applied them to the tides of time
and I discovered that everybody's wrong
we can forget Bucephalus, Caligula's senator
all the layers of Troy
and the time the animals visited my kindergarten.
Throw those stories on the dung heap!
It's clearly our collective fertile imaginations
They are interesting, so they didn't happen.

Thanks for reading, have fun in the comments section.

1 comment:

  1. Love the subtle irony Francis And mischievious dig at our taste in reasonableness