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Monday, 5 April 2010

And What if the Words

And what if the words that I write as I write them
should fall on the page in their troublesome ways,
formed or reformed into lifeless life-forms
by the power of their letters, their word-D.N.A.?

And what if some voice that would read them one day
provided the spark
that electrified them
and brought them to life?

There'd be words that would dance there
and words that would sing
and words that would sit there quite quietly, apart,
thinking beautiful, true or impossible thoughts.

There'd be some telling other words what they should do,
and bullies there'd be, dark, immature terms,
"improving" the verse, rearranging the strings
as they squirm in and out round each other like worms.

Or what if they fell like notes on a stave
and developed their meanings like themes
and could marionette and beget a new motif or world
as easy as having a shave?

And what if they took it too far, got carried away
with their dancing and singing, carousing and bringing
the whole enterprise to disgrace,
first slipping then sliding all over then right off the page?

Or, rather more likely, the words remained words though not mine,
and the staves as we thought them displayed a new form,
twisted skywards in spirals and loops to the sun
(if not to the sun, to my words for the same):

an arcade of helices, Palace of Chance,
with fashion the croupier taking the bets.
Then what if my words were to wager their drift
in a lost-word scenario, double or quits?

And what if the voice that will read them aloud
could return to the music, sound birdsong or sax?
Could they somehow be handing me back
the sense of my text? Not a chance,

they've moved on
to a life that has hammered the old into shape,
to a work in translation,
more up to the mark.



Haiku #105


It's out as always -
Tokyo's cherry blossom.
It's that time of year.

22 comments:

bard said...

I really like this one David. It is both whimsical and profound, and it flows rather nicely. Well done!

Dave King said...

bard
Thanks for that, much appreciated.

Carl said...

You are on a real roll these days. Wonderful

Gwei Mui said...

Music indeed Dave, I love the picture and the idea of the words as notes on a stave, or naughty children jostling on the page for position.

jinksy said...

Loved these words dancing all over your page in their Palace of Chance. Can't wait for mine to trip the light fantastic as beautifully as yours.

Derrick said...

Hi Dave,

Your "George" is very definitely not of the lugubrious kind!

Elisabeth said...

I love this one too, Dave. It's light-hearted and yet has a depth of meaning that underscores its light touch.

I particularly enjoy the lines: 'There'd be some telling other words what they should do,
and bullies there'd be, dark, immature terms,
"improving" the verse, rearranging the strings
as they squirm in and out round each other like worms.'

I have a real thing against 'thought' or in this instance I should say, 'word' police.

Thanks, Dave. You are so clever.

willow said...

I love the dance of words on a page. This one certainly does not disappoint!

Barry said...

Sweet whimsy, Dave, and wonderfully thoughtful.

The reading was a pleasure.

Dianne said...

Nice rhythm without a rigid frame. I often associate music with poetry, but like the thought of architecture and dance.

The redwing blackbird had some songs I tried to say with words, but only came up qui-up shcree-rloo!
Happy Spring, Dave

Kass said...

Ah yes, in the beginning was the word...it did take on a life of its own...like this poem did. Reminds me of certain philosopher's posit of 'is thought aware of itself?'

A fun, yet deep read.

Tabor said...

Fun...the power of words. We place them on the page...and think we have control...but like all art it changes when interpreted. Very nicely done.

Helen said...

Your poem brings a symphony of words to life ... I hear the music.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I really enjoyed this poem Dave, in particular the rhythm, the rhymes in the first stanza plunge the reader straight into it.

I have written a poem "Words" that once more could maybe "discourse" with yours.

Dave King said...

Carl
Thanks, though it doesn't always feel like a roll!

Gwei
Good one, I like it. You might have just given me another!

jinksy
Well now, last time I visited your blog they were doing that with a vengence. I,ll come over to see.

Derrick
No, definitely not, I agree.

Elisabeth
The section you've picked out is probably the one I most enjoyed writing. these old thought police come in many guises, you know. We all need to watch out for them.

willow
Thanks for that. I had worried a bit that I had overdone it.

Barry
Encouraging comment Barry. Thanks for it.

Dianne
I agree with you completely. Rhythm and music with architecture is one ideal in my book.
Qui-up shcree-rloo? And why should that not be a word? We only need to agree a meaning and it is one!

Kass
Two good comments there. The first I should have thought of, but didn't. The second I had not heard before. Challenging! Thanks

Tabor
Exactly! Absolutely right.

Helen
That's a lovely comment. Thank you for it.

Tommaso
I shall look forward to reading it. Much thanks.

Carl said...

Art never does Dave... Does it? giving birth to a piece of art and pitting it out there can be a draining process to say the least.

The work you are doing stunning in its power and range of subject.

I have decided to name you poet laureate over at artistic balance. Sorry there is no cash prize with the honor... but I did post it near the top of the blog and link back to you at Pics and Poems. Like you need more traffic with your well deserved 376 followers!

CS

Mr. Philoctetes Digressius aka L. E. McKenna said...

What a masterful poem . . .

Mr. Stupid said...

Very beautiful Dave. I enjoyed the flow of words. Well written. I liked the rhythm.

Have a good day!:)

Dave King said...

Carl
Wow! There I was reading your comment with my usual equanimity, mentally nodding that you were spot on (as perusual) when the bombshell exploded. Moi? poet laureate? Cash prize? The gesture means more than any cash prize could. I fall back on cliche: it's the thought that counts. Really. My undying thanks, you have made my day! Like I do need the traffic - I don 't get 376 "hits", thou knows!

Mr. Philoctetes Digressius aka L. E. McKenna
A warm welcome to my blog and my thanks for stopping by to comment.

Mr Stupid
Many than ks for a very generous comment.

Carl said...

Dave a well earned honor. I look forward to your posts every day.

Jim Murdoch said...

The line that jumped out here was “the words remained words though not mine”. It’s something that I keep coming back to the idea that a poem has two phases of life that it’s a chrysalis from which a thing of beauty – an imago, such an appropriate word – can emerge once it comes in contact with another’s mind. We, the poets, never get to see our poems like that. Some nice imagery in this one, Dave.

Have a look at the definition of imago in Insect Architecture by James Rennie, pages 22 and 23. I think there’s another poem to be had here.

Dave King said...

Carl
Thanks again, Carl.

Jim
A very interesting comment that, Jim. It gels with a few things that have been running through my mind, off and on, for quite a while. I shall certainly have a look at Rennie. Thanks for the comments and the link.