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Sunday, 10 April 2011

High Wire Walker

His day of destiny; the wire
stretched taut above the square.
A fall, an end, might magnify
his life from some perspectives.
Not from his. He would lament
the imperfection, the inadequate technique.

Meanwhile, our world is frozen,
turned to stone. Up there is life
incomprehensible, foretold
in his self-image. All his days
he's walked a wire of some sort,
for the most part, privately, but here exposure

is the object of the game:
the square is his theatre,
the world a place to stretch a wire,
to walk a skyway; never
a part of our lives - save
the moment when a gust excites, disturbs,

ruffles leaves and hair, and brings
the crowd to life. He pauses,
stands insouciant, then sways
as to a distant band; moves
on once more, the poise regained
that was not lost, except we thought it so.

17 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

But we so rarely look up!

Lovely piece, Dave.

Dave King said...

Leatherdykeuk

True, and not just us. I remember reading that when training dogs for the blind the hardest bit of all is to train them to look up, to notice that an obstruction they can pass beneath is too low for their master or mistress.

how to oil paint said...

I like your blog!...Daniel

TechnoBabe said...

Some amazing things to see when we do look up. I tend to look down so much. For practical reasons like not tripping and falling, also have found lots of money over the years by looking down as I walk. But by golly, when I look up it is a thrill.

Isabel Doyle said...

how did you capture that vertiginous breath-holding so well?

I gave up construction due to a fear of heights.

Brian Miller said...

mmm... this ia a gorgeous write...yeah a lot to be seen when we raise our eyes...great to see you over at one stop david...

Jerry said...

Learned a new word...insouciant. Our perspectives are exactly that...our perspectives...those who ascend to freedom rarely think of the ones who watch in fear.

Glynn said...

Our lives often seem just like that -- walking a wire, way high up, with no safety net underneath. And then we hear the music begin to play.

Good poem.

dustus said...

"the world a place to stretch a wire,
to walk a skyway; never
a part of our lives - save
the moment when a gust excites, disturbs,"

I enjoy the perspectives taken in your poem—says a great deal about the performer, as well as the audience. Solid. Well written.

The Weaver of Grass said...

One of those activities Dave (rather like the Grand National) that I can only watch through my fingers as it is so scary. Good poem though.

Reflections said...

You have captured well the amazing, balancing act... stretching a wire, never a part, yet so often seems like we are there... well done write.

Carl said...

All his days
he's walked a wire of some sort,
for the most part, privately, but here exposure

This bit is my favorite. This was the link that put me in his shoes out on that wire.

Well done.

jen revved said...

Beautiful certitude of imagery and movement in this poem. A captivating read. xj

flaubert said...

We all walk a wire of some sort, don't we, Dave? Nicely stated.

Pamela

Chris G. said...

And such an act it is...one we all know, one we all walk. Delightful narration, and an intriguing perspective piece...one that provides a characterization not only of the character at the heart of the piece, but of those watching, reading as well...a well-composed piece.

Windsmoke. said...

Very vivid and scary imagery in respect to the possibility of falling off the wire and ending up splattered all over the landscape :-).

Dave King said...

how to oil paint
Welcome and much thanks to you.

TechnoBabe
My daughter-in-law, coming out of a football ground on Saturday, failed to look down, didn't see the hole in the pavement because of the crowd ahead of her, and fell down it.

Isabel
I hadn't realised I had. Thanks for telling me. Useful stuff!

Brian Miller
Welcome and thanks. Yes, a bit late at One-stop. Will try to do better this week.

Jerry
A warm welcome to you. Thanks for the visit. Excellent point you bring out there. Something to mull over. Much thanks.

Glynn
Good to have you visiting. I like the observation. So true. Thanks for it.

dustus
Many thanks for the visit and comment. Useful feedback, much appreciated.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, I take the analogy with The Grand National - especially after this year's one. Reminds me of my son when small watching scary videos from behind the sofa.

Reflections
Thanks for another useful and supportive comment.

Carl
I think I know what you mean. Thinking back to Weaver's comment, I can identify with the high wire walker - and most circus personalities - but I don't want to be drawn in too close.

jen
Lovely comment, for which much thanks. Good to have you visiting. Welcome to you.

Pamela
We do indeed. Thanks for that.

Chris G
Welcome, Chris and thanks for visiting - and for a very thoughtful response which is much appreciated.

Windsmoke
Yes,exactly. Like the old joke: Aren't you afraid of walking on that wire? No, I'm afraid of walking off it!