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Tuesday, 16 July 2013


The neural net
sifts ocean depths.
Catching what?

Old ideas,
offspring of those old ideas,
what is or was,
of the days before
their time had come.

These throwbacks hope
to come into their own
the second time around;

seem larger now;
ARE larger -- in their context --
than before.

a sleep is long enough
for offspring to mature;
assorted flotsam
show its provenance;
a harvest wave
wash through the mesh.

So listen as you dream
how gently rocks
the harbour buoy;
its solitary bell,
soft hollow toll
monotonous low DONG!

(which means in dreamspeak that
the fish are up
and answers the soprano TING! TING!
from the altar boy's new hand bell
in the church)

The net is fragile --
there's the rub.
Ideas have heft
have life:
a momentary
change of colour
and they're gone.

They've slipped away.

Not having notions, then,
but landing them,
is all the thinker's task.


Brian Miller said...

how easily they slip in and out...those thoughts...i like how you allude to them as rocking the bouy like waves...one a dream...and us just baiting a hook trying to catch them...smiles

Mary said...

Ah, how those ideas float through one's mind when one sleeps. Old ideas resurface, and maybe they will find their way OUT this time. Indeed the thinker has to land them, these 'fish' which are bent on escape. I think the "fish" are especially active right before one wakes.

Ygraine said...

Sometimes it is better when sleep is brief and offspring has no time to mature, not when the parent dream is so disturbing...yet these are the ones that seem endless...whilst those we long to hold on to, so easily slip away in the depths of awakening.
Methinks the thinker's task is mostly an impossible one...:)

Pearl said...

Slippery little fish, moving between the stages of consciousness... Lovely imagery.


Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Superb Dave, I feel very close to this poem and its powerful echo, the force the sea gives to it. Great metaphor.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerry Snape said...

..just finished reading Joanne Limburg's book ..."The woman who thought too much"....full of dreams and thoughts. Somehow this makes me have similar ideas.

...(which means in dreamspeak that
the fish are up
and answers the soprano TING! TING!
from the altar boy's new hand bell
in the church)...

love these lines!

Carl said...

Sometimes ideas that are discarded just need time to mature (or you to mature) for them to be ripe and red to harvest or be converted as a sprk of inspiration for another.

Cloudia said...

You well express the exertion and delight of true intellectual sport!
Your muscular sea creatures are relatives of Rilke's dear words warming their wintry cheeks NY his fire, matching happily in lines of poetry....


haricot said...

I can hear the sound of waves come and go,and fish is visible to readers.Metaphoric and realistic.

Tabor said...

This has to be one of my favorites of your poems. The imagery and concept are both rewarding. Ideas have heft...and a mind of their own.

Anonymous said...

Ha. I find mine are especially slippery these days - they disappear if I don't have some implement in hand to record them as my neural net is too full of holes. A wonderful description of the process - great metaphor with the throwing back and retrieving again - and the bells work so well also. Thanks.


Dave King said...

Thanks as always for a thoughtful response.

I am sure your last sentence is spot on. I have always thought so.

'tis so, was ever thus. Thou speakest with great wisdom.

Thank you. Really great to have your comment.

Thanks - and a powerful response. Most gratifying.

Thanks. Very pleasing to me that you should pick out these particular lines.

Absolutely. It's interesting to see how this can happen.

Wow! I am most honoured. Thank you!

Thank you. S good to hear things like this.

I am so pleased to hear that you think this. Thank you.

Yes, know what you mean. My neural net also a bit moth-eaten!

Unknown said...

enjoyed this prose on ideas, well done and quite interesting.

Gina Gao said...

This is a great poem! I enjoyed reading this very much.


Cait O'Connor said...

The net is fragile --
there's the rub.
Ideas have heft
have life:
a momentary
change of colour
and they're gone.

Some poems make me drool, this is one.

Dave King said...

Hi, and welcome to the blog. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Thanks for saying so. Good to have your thoughts.

Much thanks for a most generous comment.

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