*Afterthought #50 More Mystery

Doubt. Certainty. Unanswered questions. Knowing. Faith. I’ve wrestled (still do) with them all, but the grappling is easier in the company of other seekers. Earlier this month I wrote about one of them, author Dani Shapiro. The very same day, poet friend James Scott Smith tackled the same ideas in his poem, “Mystery.” James generously agreed to my reblogging his piece.



If you like this poem as much as I do, you’ll be happy to know that James’s poetry collection, Water, Rocks and Trees, will be published this September by Homebound Publications.






James Scott Smith

To ask

the questions

with no answers.

To learn

faith is more gut

than brains,

more moment

than memory.

To find

the lost way

of understanding

without needing

to know

I have.


*“Afterthoughts” are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, maybe even bumper stickers.


  1. Hi Iris!

    I have loved doubt for its openness. I once named a drawing installation “In the Light of Doubt”.

    Liked the poem.


    Mabrie (paper maven, Ashland)

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Lovely to hear from you Mabrie, and I’m happy that these reflections resonate for you. The title of your drawing installation sounds apt, and I appreciate that idea of doubt being “open.” I hope to see you again at the market this summer; I’ve used up nearly all of your exquisite hand-painted papers I bought last year.

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