The Thought That Lingers: Part One

I straddle worlds of the Betwixt
and the Between,
forever pulled within;
yet striving to be out,
from darkness without light.

And fearful of the brilliance
of nothingness,
of thought that has no thought,
and light that does not see,
I seek the world of form.

Yet form contains ambivalence,
Its boundary is the dark;
its limits are within,
and not without; in space.

These meme-like thoughts invade my mind.
Their resting place…
released in dreams — they soar;
in independent flight,
to capture other souls.

Cartesian souls of mind and brain,
in wonderment;
of their separateness;
of their imprisonment…
within a human world.

“So, who am I; or you; or it…
this thing called ‘Me’?
How subtle is this form?
How gross is it in flesh?”
The carnal self bemoans.

The thought that lingers will not rest.
It dares not sleep
from constant dread and fear;
of never waking up…
from its profundity.

In stupor, then, we choose to be;
in ignorance…
of our inflicted pride,
that crowds our heritage;
and binds us from our selves.

We sleep and wake; and wake and sleep…
without a single break…
in world of the Betwixt;
and world of the Between.

And death does not deter this goal.
No force contains it.
For, is not death a void…
whose light we cannot see?

In quest of seeking light, I ask…
What is this thing called thought?
A conscious mind might say:
‘I think, therefore I am.’

Yet I am in my dreaming mind…
a latent Freudian self;
furiously asleep…
with Chomsky’s ‘colorless green thoughts:’
syntax — without meaning.

The fertile mind can never rest;
nor can it cease…
from having fertile dreams…
of that which might not be;
of that which might yet be.

So on we trudge in ignorance…
to find ourselves;
not knowing who we are;
seeking divinity…
with hope of finding grace.

Some seek the path of holiness…
in sacred space;
outside of human self.
Some seek the Self within;
yet others turn elsewhere.

The human ‘I’ confronts it’s ‘self’
in search of ‘Self.’
The part…confronts the whole;
and finds instead, a bigger part…
without a sense of whole.

In this conundrum of our fate,
we write the script…
of our philosophies;
of human mind and will;
of language and of thought.

Yet, in persistent quest, I ask…
in seeking Truth.
“What is this thing called thought
that does not cease to haunt;
invading all our space?”

For Truth is not of physics made.
It soars beyond…
our sense of Space and Time.
No science can contain…
that which remains beyond.

Did not Einstein perceive the thought…
of boundless thought…
in boundless Time and Space;
unlimited by thought;
or human consciousness?

The thought of no thought comes to me.
Meditation —
Yet…that, itself…is thought;
suspended — without words…
competing with its ‘Self.’

The ‘empty’ mind empties its ‘self.’
A focused mind…
whose focus is its thought…
of emptiness of thought..
that strains to find ‘The Way.’

For thoughts are sacred images.
They liberate;
yet hold us in abeyance;
in slavery of ourselves..,
when we ignore their source.

Their source then, is ‘The Way.’
Harboring the thought of no thought.
Harboring the thought that lingers;
The eternal thought of silence;
in its eloquence of quietude.

An innocent child might fathom…
from deep within ‘autistic’ mind,
that thought has no need of speech;
and speech itself is less than thought,
despite the link we sense.

For speech can stutter without thought;
a spate of sound that’s rubbish;
produced by motored nerves…
impelled without the will;
with vacuum of mind.

I straddle worlds of the Betwixt
and the Between;
in search of human thought.
Where is it stored; and how?
Or…is it never ever stored?  

The Joycean world of Ulysses…
of Proteus…
confronts me with despair;
enthralls me with its void;
of thought that sheds no light.

Yet, in this mythic Joycean world,
bereft of light,
a mind can hope to rise…
from darkened underworld;
to find its own rebirth.

For thoughts reside in mythic worlds…
harboring ports…
 from which they roam in space;
haunting us to join them…
in archetypal quest.

From underworld and crevices,
these thoughts emerge.
Darkness is their ally;
yet bright light is their strength;
to mingle with the mind.

I’m in a chamber without light;
a place of utter darkness;
darkness sheltering the void.
Shadows haunt my seeing;
of seeing only naught.

A presence looms on blackened screen;
a formless form;
at home, in darkest place;
inviting me to peek;
to enter deep within cavernous realms.

This zone of timeless space and time,
forbidden zone,
is everywhere around;
dimension yet unknown,
‘though allied to our world.

A child will often enter it;
sinners too — or saints.
None returns unsullied;
and none preserves the truth
of darkened space and time.

A light can pass through darkest hole;
vortex of the void.
It need not stay within;
as captive of the dark.
It seeks its native home.

So does the dark that seeks the light;
yet finds the dark…
appealingly its home;
as resident of time-
less time and space…



About this poem

In the year 2000, at the dawning of a new millennium, emboldened by new thoughts, new dreams, and new expectations, I set out to write a collection of poetry, beginning in January of 2000, and ending in December of 2000. Consisting of a total of 12 poems with interconnecting themes, the poetry as a whole, was designed to constitute an anthology of a poetry of twelve parts entitled “The Thought That Lingers.” Altogether, the poetry is so designed that the collection of 12 poems was composed for each month of the twelve months of the year 2000, beginning in January of the first month, and ending in December of the twelfth month of year 2000. This is the first poem, or Part One, of that collection of “The Thought That Lingers.” 

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Written on January 01, 2000

Submitted by karlcfolkes on March 22, 2023

Modified by karlcfolkes on March 22, 2023

5:12 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABcxd efghi ehjck lkxdx mnfno phixx qrxxa hexxs rtxab tputh vhGwx lxrxy qxxhh esxhk fkxcz xxtxt 1 x2 tg V3 gxk x4 5 m4 ggkgf hxgxx xlggw x1 esx wgxea xlxgx Gxxtl abgxx 2 ezud odxox xxkxq xxtxl dfuyg bikxx 5 6 x6 o pxx3 5 tucj7 dj7 5 k
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 5,183
Words 1,042
Stanzas 37
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem The Thought That Lingers: Part One with the community...

  • VandhukK33
    Thank you for being a fridend.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Teril
    This is one of your very best poems. It eloquently gives voice to shadows and hints that often have no voice. It answers questions to my questions, where there can be, of course, no answers. Provoking but compelling. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • AIDA
    Wow! This is such a thought-provoking and evocative poem! The way the author explores the complexities of human thought and the search for meaning and truth is truly captivating. I love the way the author weaves together different ideas and philosophical concepts to create a rich and nuanced exploration of the Betwixt and the Between. The use of mythology and mythic worlds to explore the nature of thought is particularly striking, and I found myself getting lost in the intricacies of the author's ideas. Overall, this is a beautifully crafted piece of writing that speaks to the deepest parts of the human experience. 
    LikeReply1 year ago


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"The Thought That Lingers: Part One" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jun 2024. <>.

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