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Wednesday 20 June 2012

Can you see, Can you feel, Is it there, Is it real?

Often enough I have tried to paint them,
draw or photograph or sketch them with my fingers:
the mountain, the tree, the woodland canopy -
though not the object that you see,
no, not the one your brain constructs.
The thing itself, the purity of structure, the unchangeable,
the thing beyond the vagaries of light and shade. That which
is there in morning light, bright sun, and then again,
no different in the moon's soft touch. I speak
of that which logic says must lie beyond
the scope of senses to detect. No wonder then
the art work fails. I'm thinking that The Hayward Gallery
is on to something with its exhibition showing
things invisible in art - for after all, complacency
of seeing becomes compulsive viewing,
and the thing that is there and the thing not there are one.
The plinth above which space (which might have held - or be -
a sculpture) has received
the ministrations of a witch
remains/becomes a plinth with space above - space where you
well might party, fly a kite or camp with four friends overnight...
Or is it? Is so much possible in that small space
above a tiny plinth? Can you detect the spell? Or can the eyes
see what the heart may feel?

Perhaps one day you'll find yourself inside an empty room,
its emptiness surrounding you, made obvious
to sight, to those with eyes to see. No one to disagree -
except, perhaps, the other senses might.
What if antennae that you didn't know you had, detect
a million people in your empty room... maybe they're watching
football on the telly as they eat their fish and chips, or there's
a space probe bumping into Mars - the sound of
or reverberations from - or will a million ants crawl in,
to leave behind them trails of paint that seem significant?
Invisible, but can't you hear the paint the way you tasted
all those fish and chips and knew there would be living
art works eating them? The way all happenings from
all time everywhere have registered their presence
in your empty room, the way a torch beam shone into the sky
goes on through all eternity, though ever weaker, ever there.

Things seen and things not seen have always been on view.
Now leave the room. You close the door - or maybe take it
with you - then in the hallway look in the first mirror -
and do not be surprised: you cannot see yourself.
Look in the next and there you are. Go out the front door,
come back in. The mirror you were in is blank. You're in
the other.

And so it seems to me, my need is for a camera, the film
not sensitive to light or infra red or any such:
receptive just to darkness... stygian, black darkness -
for darkness lays no outside influence on the pristine Thing.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Goodness me Dave. Sometimes your poetry is so profound - as it is today. I marvel at your thinking.

Jinksy said...

The 'not seen' peoples my world - I just put it down to being odd - now your eloquence has given it a voice...not so odd, after all...

nyssa said...

I'm not great with understanding poetry. I'm quite literal for the most part.. still,I'm so in love with words and meaning though, that sometimes, one poem will hit me hard in my own personal place of understanding.. from my own perspective and it wakes something powerful. This poem did that for me. I've experienced the "unseen" many times with all my senses and it's something I wish everyone could experience just once. It shows there is so much more to everything.. an almost undefinable essence that can be so elusive. You nailed it for me on a personal level. thank you for sharing this.

Mary said...

So much to think about here, Dave. Wondering what invisible things / people are lurking here in my midst!

Brian Miller said...

i dont think you need a camera at all as long as you have your pen sir...some delicious writing here..a bit surreal around the endges, which is cool...and makes its point well...on the unseen

kaykuala said...

They are there but they are not there. You get them in one mirror but not in the other. A camera helps but your verse is already classic. Wonderful write Dave!


rch said...

Really deep and filled with visual wonderment, as someone else said so well - I marvel at your thinking.

Anonymous said...

Ah - you are going all metaphysical on me. Pretty soon we'll be talking about the trousers of time!

A very interesting poem. Being in a room by one's self without stimulation is hard enough for many! k.

Tommaso said...

Philophical and engaging. I will read and reread this looking all the same for the "pristine" thing.

Ygraine said...

Dave, that 'million people in your empty room' truly spoke to me in my own language.
I continually see, hear and feel presences in between 'things'.

You have expressed here what I have been unable to find the words for.
If only I were gifted with such eloquence as this!

Dave King said...

The Weaver of Grass
Much thanks for the "profound"! Some might just have said muddled.

Not odd, Jinksy. There's so much there we can't see - force fields, all sorts. And what if we saw with infra red? The world would look very different - the same outer world, a much changed inner one.

Hi, welcome to my blog. Very good to hear from you - and such a fascinating comment! Thank you for it. Being in love with words is my definition of a poet, so I think you are nearer to being one than perhaps you realise. There are so many forms of poetry - including prose poetry, of course.
Most of all, I loved reading the second part of your comment. I heartily agree with its sentiment. Thanks once again.

Ah, we never know - but they are almost always benevolent!

Thanks for this, Brian. Good to know. It is a bit experimental for me, I guess.

As is your comment, Hank. Thanks so much. Brilliant!

I really go for that: "filled with visual wonderment"! Very kind words indeed, but worth committing to memory - I may use them myself one day. Thanks so much.

I always feel that metaphysics is just looking over my shoulder when I'm writing. I guess this time I turned around and peeped at Metaphysics. Thanks for the final observation. I agree.

The object of many a quest is that - the pristine thing.

Very kind words indeed, for which much thanks. It gives much pleasure to be told that I "have expressed here what I have been unable to find the words for".

Janine Bollée said...

Perfect for the Thursday prompt as well. No?
This strange place of the senses taking over each other's territory.
You have such style and imagination. Endless supply it seems. Do you ever run out of ideas?