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Monday 29 August 2011


The eye came in the night.
I had been dreaming of a sorceress
who must have drilled into my brain
and fixed the eye in place.
My other eyes could not see what it saw,
could hardly register at all -
so much was going on
that my new eye could bring to me.
It swamped out all that had been visible the day before.
The world was suddenly the buzzing busy place
it must have been when I was newly born -
and just as then, I had to learn to focus all again.
I was bemused by why it meant, tried
the odd experiment: tossed articles into the air
and watched as paper streamers stretched
almost to breaking point behind them as
they rose, then squiggled into fractals as they fell.
(So all this time we've missed the fact
that gravity is just a paper artefact!)
For hours I wondered what the ripples -
some exactly like the ones you'll find on ponds -
might be. And then my mobile shattered into life
as though a brick had fallen in the pond
and all the ripples thrown around
and tangled like a heap of strings. Some strings
were sheathed in flame,
some flames were torn apart
and sent their separate ways.

You've seen The Northern Lights - or pictures of them -
and you know how rain looks in the distance, over hills,
that smudge of dark diagonals? Well,
something like those two blew in from time to time:
psychedelic smoke from next door's barbecue.
Magnetic resonance - the slanting blur
bombardment from the cosmos of a sort.
It kind of back-lit everything that packed
into the scene until it overflowed.

So nothing came together easily.
Adjustment took forever, with images concealed
behind the waves that carried them. I had to peer
through wave beyond wave, matter
I found alien,
waves distorting waves. And when, for instance,
I at last made out my wife
she hardly looked the part. Not human. Not herself.
Robotic. Like a PET scan of the body: reds and blues
outlining bones, skull green and yellow.
The whole thing ghastly and obscene.
Grotesque. I turned from the alarming scene -
as if I could, as if I could just walk away!
I closed my eyes, the new one just went dim,
and in that low light I could faintly see
patternings that came and went: a spider's web,
a cloud, a sort of jelly fish. Impossible to know
just what it was - or is - but I keep wondering
if it might be dark matter...

This was produced in response to a prompt by dverse poets to imagine suddenly being the possessor of an extra eye by means of which all the invisibles in the world - gravity etc - would come into view.
However, not for the first time I missed their very tight deadline by 4 hours.


Jim Murdoch said...

A very intriguing image here. You didn’t take the third eye in the direction I might have expected, along a more mystical route, but that’s fine. I like the idea of learning to see anew which I suppose we all have to do at some point in our lives when the scales (whatever our own particular ‘scales’ might be) fall off.

kaykuala said...

The third eye I didn't quite fathom. I didn't send in any response. After reading yours Dave, I thought I could have done one, a haiku at least! It seemed quite challenging of sorts! Beautiful write!

Mary said...

The poem was quite captivating, but gave me the shivers really as I moved from stanza to stanza following that 'third eye' view.

Jinksy said...

I enjoyed the view from your third eye - and mind! Thanks...

Hannah Stephenson said...

It would take a while for vision to adjust, huh? Very mythic and mystical.

Windsmoke. said...

Having a third eye implanted and then finding out its also capable of being an xray or bionic eye the mind boggles :-).

Anonymous said...

Wow! What imagery, and with a very interesting ending...

Dave King said...

Strangely, I didn't even think of the mystical angle. Or maybe not so strangely. I've always been intrigued by the thought of all that fills the space around us without us being in any way able to detect it, so that's the way I automatically went. I like the metaphor you make of the relearning process.

Thanks for the compliment. I must say that is something which has happened to me on no few occasions, that I have turned down a prompt for whatever reason and then regretted it when I've seen what others have made of it.

Oh, sorry to have given you the shivers, but yes, I thought when I read the prompt that it was a bit scary.

Thanks a lot. Good to hear you liked it.

Took a while to sort out the tangle of visions, I guess.

True. The mind boggles as the eye goggles.

Appreciate the comment. Thanks.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Your third eye a portal to another (disturbing) world - perhaps we are meant only to see what we see now.

Great stuff Dave.

Anna :o]

Jenny Woolf said...

Extraordinary idea but a wonderful poem, it deserves a totally psychedelic illustration such as the lamented Brad Johanssen