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Tuesday 10 May 2011


Emptied of light
                          the eye
                                      draws upon its own resources
archived images
                           turbulence predominating
yet soothing somehow, reassuring
shaped so long ago
                 perhaps in dream
or nightmare, meanings lost or changed now,
put to other uses.
                              They have the character
of poems from another tongue
                                                 trying out our language.

But it's the lightness
                                  the ease, that's unexpected,
as if the socket, like an empty picture house
and by some kind of back-projection
still tries to entertain
                                     to keep the balls in play.
We never closed it seems to say
all strays are welcome to the play.
It's sufficiently diverting
                                         to keep my fears at bay.

And so I watch as through a soldier's night-sight
                                                                                tell myself:
it's just the drape across my face that stains the whole world green;
that the sky
                     its clouds like shadows of itself,
the hills that split apart as easily as melting icebergs;
the sun, distinctive in its yellowness,
too bright to hold in focus
                                             inching ever nearer;
and my slow drift to blindness
                                                  or an unimaginable light:
that none of this amounts to threat or menace.
Indeed, there is a rainbow
                                               hovering above the sun
behind green falling snow.

No suspicion of the pain I was expecting
but there was pain awhile ago.
Long and thin             and for a moment only
aiming at the brain            but stopping short.

The main thing is, of course:
it's going well,
I know it from the chat
concerned with
horses            boyfriends             sex             and curly kale for breakfast

I hear it just above the sound of water
a fierce tide running
swirl and slap of surf and sea            and echoing
within the cave that, sighted once...

is sighted once again.
My sojourn world of logic
torn away            the eyes
flooded now with light            out of kilter with each other
and with the world as I have long supposed it:
face and features oddly angled
            force and fabric
at odds with one another.


Anonymous said...

I like the layout of this poem, the way it exemplifies the last stanza perfectly.

My favourite line:

the character
of poems from another tongue

David Cranmer said...

Very nice cadence here, Dave.

Silke Powers said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog, Dave!! :) What a way you have with words - I admire that!! Especially poetry, which has always eluded me... Warm greetings from Savannah! Silke

Mary said...

There is so much depth in this poem, as you weave your way through it with words. Am I right in perceiving you were writing about the experience of having cataract surgery...reliving thoughts as it was happening? I remember something similar when I had toe surgery..sights, sounds, discussions, while they were working away on my toe!

Helen said...

My sister is having cataract surgery in a few weeks .... this poem is a must for her to read.
Beautifully told.

Corinna said...

I had imagined an afternoon doze in a hammock, with maybe a towel thrown over the face for shade, eavesdropping on the family conversations from the front porch. Lovely all the same, surgery or nap.

Linda said...

What beautiful poetry!....whether it is photography or poetry, light is the significant fiber that intertwines us all...I love this, thanks for sharing, Linda

Hannah Stephenson said...

I'm enjoying the gaps and your experimentation with form.

brenda w said...

This is beautiful on the page, Dave. I love where it takes me. Your work makes me think. I'm happy to have found you.

Titus said...

No great words Dave, that's just a beautiful piece of writing.

Dave King said...

Thanks a lot for the commentt. Good feedback.

Thanks David. Much appreciate that.

Hi and a warm welcome to my blog. Thanks for visiting and for stopping by to comment.

You are right, yes. I had two operations a couple of years apart. They were somewhat different as I experienced them. The poem owes something to each of them. It was inpart composed during the first and then modified during the second, but it was some time before I wrote anything down. Then I promptly forgot about it - and recently came across it. Almost a "found" poem at that stage!

Hi. Thanks for visiting. Really good to have you with us. That is a lovely thing to say. I am really touched. Hope evrything goes swimmingly well for your sister.

Yup, could have been either. Just happened to be surgery. The gossipping of the surgical team buoyed me up no end. It told me that nothing was going amis.

Thanks for those kind words and a warm welcome to you. Good to have you along.

I'm very pleased. You are quite right, of course: it is experiment, and I don't know how long it will last, but at the moment, I, too am enjoying it. Thanks for the observation.

brenda w
And it is really good to have your comments. They are much appreciated.

Thems great words!! Thank you for them.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I will put again my poem "eyelines" in the blog to converse with this haunting one of yours.

Liz Rice-Sosne said...

You have mede me contemplate upon the numerous ways in which people see, and how each new manner of seeing can bring a different perspective. MAkes me think though briefly of Quantum Theory. And I echo the first respondent ... I too appreciate the "layout." Then I got a great laugh at "curly kale."

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed :-).

Conda Douglas said...

Dave, I like how you're now working with a different form. It works quite well with this poem, as I read it I noticed my eyes in motion, cool.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

creative write...

beautiful and dynamic imagery.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

creative write...

beautiful and dynamic imagery.

Cloudia said...

"Archived images"

illuminating, Dave

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral




Dave King said...

Absolutely. I llike the idea of poems doing a bit of social networking.

Good to have you commenting Liz. I enjoyed reading your remarks and, yes, I too had an (inward) laugh at the curly kale, though it did do much to reassure at the time.

Good to know you enjoyed it. Thanks for the feedback.

That's most interesting. Thanks for coming back to me with it. Very useful feedback indeed.

Many thanks for the response. Much appreciated.

Always great to hear from you.

lucychili said...

love the soft conceptual world
and the shift to the real
great poem