The Sound of Doubt

I first jotted this down several years ago. While reading John Wyndham’s sci-fi novel Chocky, I found the first line in this sonnet, a simple question in the novel, which I recognised as an involuntary iambic pentameter. I started repeating it aloud, and who knows why, I almost immediately added the second line, which is a much more famous one, from the lyrics (by Oscar Hammerstein II) of “Maria,” sung by the nuns in The Sound of Music. The rest followed without any logical explanation, so it’s a weird sonnet, but I’m fond of it.

The Sound of Doubt

Why do you use a washer with a nut?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down,
Or wash a user with a water butt,
Give mirth back to a clouded catcher’s frown?

Why can’t life be defined as something light,
How do you force a smile where there is none,
Or smile perforce, to make it all look bright,
Concoct a happy face in the long run?

Why do you stay awake and brood all night,
How do you stop those sheep from coming back,
Or give your pen some rest and do not write,
To see a rainbow beyond all that black?

Why think of life as a pack of regrets
When joy can still be found ere the sun sets?