Feelings flicker on and off
Change places like a carousel

You know …
or else you do not know …

You love …
or else you do not love …

You hate …
or else you do not hate …

You fear …
or else you do not fear …

Admire …
worship …
or else despise …

… him
or … her
or … them
or … people

You think or else you do not think of
these feelings flickering on and off
changing places like a carousel

just words
simply words?

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on February 6, 2014, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Very profound words. Thank you for sharing.


  2. And I thought it was only I. I despise the days when I hate “everything”, but am equally frustrated by my mercurial moods/feelings. Very crazy-making. Thanks for the poem.


  3. This makes me think of my ex that I shared 23 long years with. He use to say they’re just feelings, they come and go. I now tend to agree with him.


  4. very nice, Ben.. black and white, no gray shades comes to mind.
    groetjes, Francina


    • Thank you for the kind words of praise. You are of course quite right in saying that feelings come in many shades. I just wanted to focus on our experience of sharp 180° reversals, which cast into question the depths of the words we clothe them in. Describing nuances in feeling requires quite a different approach to the clean so clinical one adopted here. 🙂


  5. Simply words? This poem does bring a particular question to mind. Are words reflected feelings out of our minds? Or are feelings and words separate, meanings that interlock, but are not the same?
    What makes the poem is the repeated idea of the carousel, feelings swirling around–with words–in the carnival-like being of ourselves. Change occurs upon the carousel of life, whirling around and around, changing us and the words that rise out of us:

    You know …
    or else you do not know …

    You love …
    or else you do not love …

    Our lives turning and turning as the wooden horses beside the wooden lions with the golden manes go up and down, up and down, and the music plays.


    • We can be oh so certain of our beliefs and feelings. Or else want others to believe it so. (e.g. Mr Obama and whistle blowing?) We shout them from the rooftops. We enshrine them in Valentine cards, repeat them in wedding vows. But then at some point … somehow everything has changed.


  6. Words – they can slip through our fingers and be lost among all those other words out there – or we can make them into something meaningful, like this poem. Subtle, yet powerful.


  7. Well-crafted, insightful and profound words…


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