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Sunday, 29 January 2012

A very modern Adam

Elevenses. Today as every day he takes
the apple from his briefcase, places it
upon his desk and waits
for it to levitate.
It never does,
but still he knows it might. One day
it could surprise the world.

He'll sit transfixed before it for a while
and peering in will see a wilderness
of spinning shadow forms, motes, specks of no-life,
bits left over from the Big Bang - if
there ever was one - clouding empty space.

And what of time? That, too, is clouded -
and so he feels affinity
with all of nature's works
and wonders of the apple if its spinning wonders
took the forms they did because
those were their own predestined shapes:
the juices, for example, seeds and textured flesh.
Had each of these its own worn ruts to run
laid down in days - millennia - gone by
by trees with certain tales to tell,
which trees, life span by life span deepening
the grooves, carved out what we call memory?

And might the wooden desk
not say the same?
Or through the window glass
the summer rain?
Sometimes he thinks himself into the apple's flesh.
It's like he's landed somewhere out in space -
but ruts don't seem to work out there.

And so he peers again through apple skin,
seeing the apple's heart, its cloud of whirling pin heads,
and as a face in any cloud might form,
the face of Newton forms in this.
With Newton comes a clockwork mechanism
erasing for a moment thoughts of ruts.

The apple levitates at last - he thinks - perhaps
in some magnetic field.
And so his mindset shifts again and opens to
computer metaphors: the apple is the end result
of programs memorised to clone themselves
through an eternity of ruts.

But none of these will do. The apple eats
the metaphors. He sees them fall
like scales from eyes grown dim. The old
dichotomies dissolve. What if
there is no matter, all is energy? In school
we learned about converting one
to other. Science is too pure a thing
to leave to scientists.

dVersePoets(Undercurrents) has set the not inconsiderable task of "writing a poem that takes into account the different layers of an experience, moment, relationship, person, or object".

28 comments:

Red Nomad OZ said...

I'm in awe! That ripper of a poem took me places I never imagined an apple capable of!! And you don't need to worry about whether you met the 'task' requirements, either!!

kaykuala said...

It rallies around through myriads of situations. Very much like what Steve Jobs had done and envisaged to do with his Apple.

Hank

Claudia said...

Sometimes he thinks himself into the apple's flesh...love how you take the apple and weave it into a metaphor for all kind of human emotions...also love the title...the modern adam... not much has changed..no..? and then the apple eating the metaphors...and great last line...what a journey david

The Unknowngnome said...

Well this will last me to fourses.

Good one Dave.

Brian Miller said...

science is too pure for scientists...ha...they control the magic...or maybe the poets do in their words...def made us look much beyond a man and his apple...

Tabor said...

I guess I will never look at an apple in the same way again. Did you eat it when you were done?

Grace said...

Very effective use of the apple as a metaphor. Love the textures and bite of this poem.

Mary said...

Wow, science is too pure a thing to leave to scientists indeed. (Me - I like my science simple...LOL.)

Manicddaily said...

Wow, also. You certainly go through many layers here--beautiful spun and unspun at once. Terrific. K.

JeannetteLS said...

Well, for me? For me you captured the dreamer and I simply jumped through this journey with him. And the ending said it all to me. Once again, I simply felt this rather than thought much. This, to me, is how a dreaming brain leaps from apple to wilderness to big bang, to ancient predestined forms to trees to meaning of memory to desk to...

And Science IS to pure for scientists.

I'm SO hooked by this poem, and I do not care a jot about the assignment. Simply the ride.

Charles Miller said...

Your poem is extraordinarily wonderful in how well it captures the multifaceted wonder of a thing. I congratulate you in maintaining a level, knowing voice that remains quizzical, open to the new experience and insight that lets us see the world for what it is.

Pearl said...

Absolutely wonderful. I read this, smiling, and, for some reason, wanting to take your hand. I am in awe of this kind of talent, my friend.

Pearl

oceangirl said...

I enjoyed this David. Yes energy can change form but cannot be destroyed.

hedgewitch said...

A compelling examination of how we make our mental constructs, and what reality is or isn't, and how our minds can alter, as they question and explore, our own preconceptions.
Esp liked the summing up--'Science is too pure a thing/to leave to scientists."

Laurie Kolp said...

Dave- I really like this thought-provoking piece, especially:

And might the wooden desk
not say the same?
Or through the window glass
the summer rain?

...and the last stanza. Great job w/the prompt.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

An intense philosophical grip and the ending about science is sheer delight for me.

Ygraine said...

Wow!
All those layers of being finally laid bare.
At the conclusion of this wonderful poem, I was left feeling I belong to an infinite Whole.
Something Monumental.

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable and thought provoking indeed :-).

Sheila said...

what a wonderful journey/exploration through the layers of the time, space, matter continuum (if there even is such a thing) great energy here ;)

Other Mary said...

Your opening lines when he waits
for the apple to levitate and,
'It never does,
but still he knows it might. One day
it could surprise the world'
They make me think of when I was little, and I would sit in the grass and wait for fairies or some kind of magic creatures to come. lol, I'm off track here, but just that feeling, it could happen. If not today then maybe tomorrow. And I absolutely love your last sentence.

Glenn Buttkus said...

I think that poetry is just a
form of higher math, the song
of language, and that bitch,
Eve, migrated to WA state to
start an apple orchard, after
she kicked Johnny Appleseed's
butt off the place. Loved the
depth and levity within your
piece.

Carl said...

Science is too pure a thing
to leave to scientists.

I love this line and for that matter spent much time wandering in your words...

dark angel said...

To wonder at the world and find your answers in an apple. Unexpected and delightful metaphor. :)

Muhammad Israr said...

and what will be the result if this modern adam eat the apple? :P

Hines said...

Whoa (in my best Keanu Reeves)!
Really lovely journey with a power-packed ending! Yes.

Cressida de Nova said...

I know one thing for sure..that apple did not levitate and neither did all those saints:)

haricot said...

Scientists speculate and prove it...and the apple was not proved but helped a scientist.

Dave King said...

Red Nomaz OZ
Hi, A very warm welcome to you and sincere thanks for your kind words which are much appreciated.

Hank
Yes, I see where your thoughts are taking us. Thanks.

Claudia
Many thanks for these thoughts and no, I agree, not much has changed.

The UnknownGnome
Thanks. Good to know your thoughts.

Brian
The apple being the source of all knowledge and wisdom, of course. Thanks for saying.

Tabor
If only... All that knowledge I missed out on!

Grace
Good to have you visiting and to know your thoughts. Thank you.

Mary
Science is simple - in essence. It's the mythologisers who get us tangled-up.

Manicddaily
Thanks for this - and for a superb prompt.

JeanetteLS
That's good to hear. Feeling is what poetry is all about, in my book.

Charles
Welcome and thanks for such a generous comment, both in extent and in tone. It's really gratifying to have such a response.

Pearl
Wow! this is a real pleaser of a comment. Thank you so much for it.

Ocean Girl
True. I doubt anything can be destroyed - ultimately, if all is energy.

hedgewitch
Hi, Good to know your thoughts on this. Thank you for such useful comments. The feedback is valuable.

Laurie
Thank you for saying this. The lines you quote were my fav' - and as so often happens came "from nowhere" as I typed the final draft.

Tommaso
Thank you. This really gladdens me.

Ygraine
A really generous and helpful comment. Thank you so much for it.

Windsmoke
Thank you so much.

Sheila
Thank you. Very much appreciated.

Other Mary
Not at all off track, very much on it, I would have said. It's another (early) level of knowledge. I'm sure it would have been logged in the fruit of all wisdom. Thanks for telling. Love it.

Glenn Buttkus
Oh, I do like that summary. You should commit it to verse - or whatever form of art you think fit.

Carl
Thanks. I actually thought those final lines might prove to be more controversial than they have.

dark angel
Hi, welcome. Good to have your company. Thank you for your lovely response.

Muhammad
Ah, well, in a sense he has. He's digested its contents.

Hines
Hi, A warm welcome to you. Love the response. Thanks for it and for your visit.

Cressida de Nova
Absolutely. Thanks for your company and for the comment.

haricot
Indeed, yes - if he was a scientist. I guess he probably was!