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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

On Coming Comfortably in the Middle.

 
                                   I've spoken of this earlier.
 Earlier in my life, perhaps.
                How often more is seen
                when eyes are shuttered tight against the light
                than when they're open wide. 

Victor Pasmore put me on to this. *      

                Today I bike raced watching the Olympians.

An amalgamation that, of many from the past.   

                I go to paint the strange experience.

(Not a subject with much promise,
that I know of old.)                   
                                   So close my eyes
                                   and let the lids reflect
                                   what's going on within.

I've not relaxed from earlier.

                                   Still on the bike
                                   the road still spooling out
                                   its endless ribbon.

                And still beneath the hiss
                of tyres, wet tarmac sizzles in the sun.
                Shadows of myself not in my colours
                far off recede or swell nearby.

Nearer than they are.
Further off than in reality.

                                   The closed eyes glaze as if
                                   they're open to the world.

It's lack of concentration, that -
in either mode. Downhill.

                The long descent is undulating.
                This must be close to what a bird feels flying 
                in a flock.

Not something you could paint.
(Do birds crash to the ground if they should touch, the way we bikers do?)

Let's say the race starts here.
                                  So here the poem  starts...
and the experiment begins...
with sunlight - laser-like - beams spinning off the wet road.

I have the image that I came for:
                                  Two cyclists.
                                  Front and rear wheel overlap.
                                  Shadows at right angles.
                                  Elliptical.
                                  A geometric patterning.

                The constant circling of the feet is comforting -
but can't paint that.
                                  The road becomes hypnotic.
                                  draws me on.

                                  Team mates pray for victory.
Why do not I?
                The stakes too high, perhaps.

How could I possibly afford
to disprove God?
Eyes open and refuting Him would have been bad enough...
                                  but with eyes closed fast...
ah, that could never be!

........................................................
*

9 comments:

Brian Miller said...

really intersting...the form def plays into the popcorn thoughts, between the road, the cyclist and your thoughts of painting....and an interesting question as you draw to a close as well...

Mary said...

Enjoyed the style of this poem, Dave. The back and forth dialogue with self works! And some interesting philosophizing, to boot!

manicddaily said...

First you use the shape and back and forth very well as it looks a bit like a bike, but there's also this thing of eyes closing and opening and not really closing and not really opening - which suits your subject very well - the eyes of the mind can certainly imagine the victory.

This is especially interesting for me as we have a cousin of sorts who won the bronze for mountainbiking. So exciting - this going down the hills really is like birds flying as you say. I think the birds manage the swoop though not always.

Thanks for the very interesting poem, a muse on biking and cycling in the mind. k.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

One actually tastes the "going" on that road. Very hypnotic and powerful. And perfect the comment made of a question about the birds...crashing like bikers if they touch? I don't think so...if they ever touch one another...which I think is unlikely. Their flight being so naturally in harmony with the segments of space.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I shall henceforth try closing my eyes in certain situations Dave.

The Elephant's Child said...

I was riding with you, loving the image of the wet road in the sunshine. Thank you.

cloudia charters said...

Interesting form indeed-


Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^=
> < } } ( ° >

haricot said...

It seems that all of your fantastic memories got stronger in your mind, even the negative feeling. It makes me encourage, Dave.

Dave King said...

Brian
Yes, thanks for this. I guess I was in an unusually meditative frame of mind, writing it.

Mary
Thanks. Interesting you picked up the dialogue with self. Very helpful, thanks.

manicddaily
I'm really very flattered. You - and others - have picked up on most of the aspects I would have hoped you would. Writing it, I found past and present linking in quite unusual ways - my old bike racing days almost belonging to the present for a short while.

Tommaso
Thanks for this, Tommaso. I'm inclined to agree: the birds would only crash to the ground if their wings were damaged in a collision - and maybe not then, maybe they could glide.

The Weaver of Grass
I can really recommend it. As I said it was (an exhibition of) Victor Pasmore's work that put me on to it.

The Elephant's Child
Thank you so much for this. What more could I wish?

Cloudia
Thanks. Helpful to know you thought so.

Haricot
Ah, yes, but don't ask about recent memories!