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Leland Waldrip

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An alphabetical index to my poetry on thinking and philosophy.




Births and deaths


Ah, Pragmatism!

Glass half full…


A Lesser God

Have you ever wondered at persons who profess “faith,” then participate wholeheartedly in the fruits of science as God’s domain (the Unknown) shrinks with each new scientific advance? (Actually, scientific advances tend to open the door to more mystery, but that is another story.)


Altruism Anyone?

In the absence of the capability to read minds, this is only a statement of opinion. But think about it.


A Natural View  

Natural, naturalist, and naturalism describe a world view, those who hold it, and a doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms, without recourse to spiritual or supernatural explanations for any but entertainment issues. This poem is as close to a creed as we get, for we welcome free inquiry and proof of variance on any issue — including the poem itself.


Antecedent Chemistry

Have you ever thought about the chain of events that has happened to bring us to life? Think of the things that could have happened, any one of which would have terminated the germ line of which we are part, and therefore have nullified our existence. This poem looks at particular aspects of the possibilities through an ode to our forebears’ passion.


An Uncommon Thing

Parenting paradyme.


Atheists All

We all have our own beliefs. The opposite side of this same coin, of course, is the universality of non-belief.



It’s all a matter of priorities.



This poem was inspired by a TV ad showing a dog responding to multiple stimuli. His responses parallel the actions of some nice people I have known.


Boy, Girl

Fishes in the sea…


Boundaries, A Million $ Challenge

“There is so much more to life and metaphysical things than our minds can comprehend and all any of us really have are snatches of truth.” I think this quote from a dear friend makes a profound statement. It inspired me to describe two worlds in this poem — one the real world, the other a personal world for each individual that I call Nirvana or the poet’s world. I also forward a million dollar challenge of which I recently became aware.


Child Care

A semi-serious look at the naivete of the young.



Chorion – (kor e ON) the outer membrane enclosing the embryo of reptiles, birds and mammals.


Circle Of Doubt

Most circles are subject to improvement — though they may appear perfect. This is the heart of the principle of scientific method, the engine of knowledge advancement. Doubt even applies to the scientific method itself. Should doubt and inquiry reveal a flaw in any principle, knowledge is advanced and a correction adopted. This stands in stark contrast to knowledge by revelation, or by fiat.


Cosmos Wheel

A different genesis?


Crystal Clear Persuasion

The inspiration for this poem comes from an article by Richard Dawkins in his book of essays, A Devil’s Chaplain. Mr. Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.



Drawn To A Vacuum

Attractions are not always rational.


Evil Paternity Suit

We assign Evil’s parenthood.



Faith is required for anything we do, but …


Faith In Reason

Ignorance is not something to place one’s faith in.


Fantasy — A Natural State of Mind

Fantasy has both a bright side and a dark side.


Father-Son Conversations

Three conversations, ages apart, plot the progress of man's knowledge.


Food For Thought

There might be more to food processing than we thought …


Fuzzy Measures

So many images of reality, but there is only one REALITY. We struggle to find it, never fully knowing if we succeed.



Safety from tornados is not found in words.


God's Pulse

This poem puts the theme of "Cosmos Wheel" under a magnifying glass, zooms in for more detail.


Hard Math

Advice for youth


Hope For Bitter Enders

An abused person lashes out in the only avenue available: a diatribe against his "persecutors."


Hippocrene Isn’t Terrene, But There’s A Connection

I just had to put these two (new) words in a poem.


Imagination: Two-edged Sword

Imagination, like a fine knife or sword, is one of humanity's most powerful tools. Yet some would prefer to dull its edge to avoid the possibility of experiencing pain from it.


Intelligent Design?

This poem was inspired by articles by Bruce and Frances Martin and other research on evolution. It poetizes an argument over the basis for creation between the theory of Intelligent Design and the law of evolution. My bias in favor of evolution as the most likely scenario will quickly become apparent.


Justice Delayed — Justice Denied

I collected this anecdote from the Internet and edited it slightly for form and content. Its text is prose, but its message is pure poetry.



The power of prayer …


LIFE – Quantity vs. Quality

“Pro-life” re-examined.


Little Faith

What of those scientists of stature who make ambiguous statements about their feelings on “faith” and science?



Time is entrained moments …


Non-Haiku Piece




Not A Prayer

If one believes in the power of prayer, I would not remove that joy from you. But praying, though ubiquitous, is not universal among serious, truth-seeking adults. There is another truth.


Peaceful Interlude

The recent spate of natural catastrophes leads one to speculate that no matter where one lives, perhaps it is only a matter of time …


Poverty's Path

A hard lesson for youth—and one they’re not usually well warned about.



Personal views.




How can we know we aren’t being duped by “authorities”? How do we know the “authorities” haven’t been duped —- by themselves or others?


Rational Ascetics

Ascetics (in the broadest sense), in spite of attempting to deny themselves the benefits of rationality, must nibble from its abundance to avoid earthly perils.



Similarity with a difference.


Standing on Shoulders of Giants

Most Americans don’t believe in ancestor worship, but where would our modern civilization be without intellectual heroes who’ve gone before? By the same token, our progeny’s future culture needs a new crop of giants from our own time.



There’s inner space and outer space…




Superstition — an irrational belief
That arises from ignorance or fear


Taliban Plan

Publishing this poem would not have been tolerated in pre-millenial Afganistan.


Tapestry Of Life

Evolution’s loom.


The Good Is Gone

An imaginary scene a few years from now.


The Wall

Separation of Church and State


Taliban Plan

Publishing this poem would not have been tolerated in pre-millenial Afganistan.



This is a rewrite of a poem I called "Faith". I like "Trust" better for it connotes a more variable range of certitude than faith.


Truth Haiku

Savoring truth …


Uncle Albert, Poetized

Einstein’s famous lines on spirituality.





Universal Chess

Inspired by T. H. Huxley



We’re All Naturalists Under The Skin

Theists and non-theists alike must abide by natural rules.


What Happened Today?

We should be excited about time travel. We can't not time travel. It is in one direction only, into the future. It occurs increment after increment, on an extremely regular basis.


911 Haiku

World Trade Towers



© 2008 R. Leland



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