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Tuesday 6 December 2011

A Life in Free Verse...

(The title basically represents the challenge put out by The Gooseberry Garden to write something personal about ourselves)

It's only when I take a moment to look back
I see the land for what it really was
and am surprised:
the mountains hardly ever seemed that high
or at the time were steeper than they look.
The land's a patchwork quilt of this and that,
a nature that as part of it,
too close, I'd overlooked.

There was a randomness that coloured in those squares
or left them bare and challenging -
some background space left plain for me to paint
or sow with a new seed.
Luck mostly came, I found,
at the eleventh hour: I'd just squeeze in
when rational assessment said I'd missed the boat.

It never was the moment that I'd strive for
but the one that had arrived
would drive ambition best for me,
the one that led on to the next.
It was teaching, I believe, that taught me so:
the child who one day will want calculus
today must draw -
his life depends on it.

The spiritual is what you glimpse between the squares,
the stitching holding them in place
and giving them existence with each other.
It's not the images, that you are shown will last forever
(the young Jew on his tree
the Buddha under his),
these are the catalysts restructuring the old solutions
for a newer generation.
For me the beakers filled with poetry.
Years then before I understood that others
(Wallace Stevens is a good example)
had made the same experiment long time before,
arriving at identical conclusions.

On nights you cannot sleep
it's only when you give up trying that you find
the goal achieved.
It's when you hold the moment in your arms
and let go all the comforting controls
that life - the life
that runs the universe -
can take the wheel.
My life began
the day that I got married.
That was resurrection day for me.

The trick is now to make life's end
a small, intrinsic part of all that's gone before.


Ruth said...

. . . never was the moment I'd strive for
but the one that had arrived . . .

That's a good place to live, pulling into each moment what has gone before. Very nice.

Brian Miller said...

nice...i like dave...marriage was a resurrection for me as well...wel meeting my wife was, it was a radical turn back to the spiritual after abandoning it, and i have always felt a deep connection to nature...

Scarlet said...

Your words resonate strongly with me... specially looking back to see that the mountains weren't so high...most meaningful are these:

let go of the comforting controls
that life - the life
that runs the universe -
can take the wheel.

I learned this lesson only lately but embracing the wheel of life brought me to places I never knew I can ~

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


A delighful practical and emotional walk through your life. And the preparation for the rest? Simply continue to see, hear and enjoy all that brings you joy every day.
I would think writing features, since you bring such joy and sharing of experiences to many, with your words!

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

amazing one,

mountains not so high when we look back after years of growth,

very deep and thought provoking piece.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done! The day I was married was a resurrection day as well. I was also domesticated. Haven't looked back since.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Very well said, Dave.

anthonynorth said...

Excellent, heartfelt words. And so true about marriage.

Susie Clevenger said...

My life began the day I got married. That was resurrection day for me...How beautiful. Each time I feel I have life figured out it shows me I don't. A great look into what makes you you.. :)

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Awesome write, Dave! Some wonderful truths and inspirations here!

Unknown said...

A lot of motivation seen here for the youth to learn from.
I liked the line "the mountains hardly ever seemed that high
or at the time were steeper than they look."
Thank you for sharing!

Erick Flores

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I was thinking of Wallace Stevens and then I found it mentioned in the lines.
This poem breathes in his legacy.

Hannah Stephenson said...

Poetry as religion? It's true.

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed especially the last two lines :-).

haricot said...

In this poem the past has just be sublimed. No regret.

Mary said...

This is wonderful, Dave. I have been late responding today, as life has got in my way. I believe in each life there is a resurrection day. I am not getting ready for life's end, though it can come at any time. I realize that. And yes, the spiritual is what you glimpse between squares indeed. And you were a teacher too. Me too....so many lessons taught and learned from students. A moving write, Dave.

Charlie Parant said...

great write, a lot to think about

The Unknowngnome said...

"Ah, but to play man number one,
To drive the dagger in his heart,

To lay his brains upon the board
And pick the acrid colors out,

To nail his thought across the door,
Its wings spread wide to rain and snow,

To strike his living hi and ho,
To tick it, tock it, turn it true,

To bang it from a savage blue,
Jangling the metal of the strings...."

The Day was Green


Mishilicious Mishi said...

hello Dave..I wonder how do you manage to play with words so beautifully! wish could do the same:)

Anonymous said...

Lovely close-- a trick indeed. K.

Dave King said...

Thanks Ruth. Good to have your comment. Pleasing that you picked up on that point.

We seem very similar in these two respects, then. Thank you.

I, too learnt the main things only lately. Reassuring comment. Thanks.

Much thanks for this. Yes, writing does figure, and the arts generally, but I thought enough was enough. Good to have your views.

The Cello Strings
Thanks. Life continues to amaze. Maybe that's the main thing about it.

Hi, A warm welcome to you, Really good to have your comments. Thanks for saying.

Thanks a lot.

Thank you. good to hear that others think so, too.

I can certainly relate to your view that when you think you have life figured it shows you that you don't. Like the good scientist, I think we have to say that all discoveries are provisional.

Marbles in My Pocket
Many thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated.

Hi and thanks again. Really good to have your comment.

Yes, finding the poetry of Wallace Stevens was like suddenly having a companion on what had been a lonely walk.

Sure is for me!

Thanks. Much appreciate your comments.

That is true, yes.

Thank you so much for a very comprehensive response. Your words are most encouraginng.

Hi. Welcome to the blog, and my thanks to you for commenting. Good to know you're visiting.

The Unknowinggnome
Ah, thanks for that. It's where I started with Stevens and where I often make a return visit.

It is very generos of you to atrribute such things to me. I am sure you do exactly that. The author doesn't always know what his/her words do. Thanks.

Thanks. I do like a poem of mine to snap shut, so your remark is very helpful to me.

Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

very remarkable.

Glad to have you share such gem with us.

Victoria said...

David, this doesn't just speak to me, it screams! There are so many lines in this I identify with and enjoy so much. The fourth stanza is my favorite.

Jeanne Estridge said...

I love your poetry, and this one, especially, speaks to me.

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