By way of dust and ashes we are linked
to common threads: strung to a string of time;
individually knotted, distinct
in our difference. Be it lemon or lime,
we are spliced to a single stock; rooted
in the same soil; given source to nourish;
encouraged to grow as would be suited
to meet our own needs; and thereby, flourish
into form, complete with name and feature:
detailed with nuance, character and style,
labelled as ‘self’ from a common creature.
. Thus, we are universally designed,
. and yet, so individually defined.
© Tim Grace, 4 October 2012
To the reader: As crowds assemble, individual features are swallowed by a depth of field that intuitively responds to changes of light and aperture. As eyes adjust to new interests, peripheral surroundings are rendered as a common blur. It takes just the slightest shift of focus to re-engage with diffused details; to bring them to the fore as new impressions; key-frames that describe “my” experience of a common event.
To the poet: “What about the drawing of distinctions?” A long thread of thoughts; heavily punctuated with sign-posts and guide-rails separating one thing from another. At various turning points the poem poses two similar characteristics and through nuance attributes to them a difference of sorts: dust and ashes, lemon or lime, name and feature, character and style. Not that similar, not that different, separated then by distinction.
What about the drawing of distinctions?
Should they be blurred to favour tolerance?
Is the line concise on contradictions?
What advice does logic bring to difference?
How are we to judge without conclusion?
How so is ‘that from this’ to be defined?
Is ‘to know’ a hoax, a grand delusion?
Are all things to be boldly underlined?
What of two-minds that claim a single-thought?
What of the question that has no answer?
What’s nothing but the invention of naught?
What’s more static than a statued dancer?
. It’s not the answer that in truth divides,
. More so the question that in doubt resides.
© Tim Grace, 3 October 2012
To the reader: The tolerant society is a highly abstracted notion. Those who thrive in liberal communities put aside rigid structures and tolerate difference. In this relaxed and generous environment customs and codes of practice can be questioned and answers refined; ethics evolve. Social contracts are loose and forgiving with cultures flourishing side-by-side. In this social order we prefer the question (process) resist the answer (product) as we crave the experience… all lines are blurred.
To the poet: Earlier, I broke Shakespeare’s sixty-sixth sonnet into a series of twelve sonnets; expanding on his list of grumpy grievances. Likewise, in this sonnet (of mine) I lay down the foundation for a longer exploration of ‘difference and distinction’; again, in twelve parts. The project took a couple of months to complete with other themes and interests put on hold… to what end, I’ll let you judge.
Be learn’d in the now, be connected
to what is your current fascination.
Take from today all that is collected,
make this the lot, the plot of your creation.
Expect nothing of tomorrow’s promise,
and give not tomorrow today’s excuse.
Be of the moment; and then so, with ease
make invisible time’s disappointed fuse.
Have in mind only this day’s food for thought,
for tomorrow’s feast is an empty plate,
nothing more than that, a recipe fraught
with expectation; do not take the bait.
. Be absorbed in the now, be besotted,
. take from today all that is allotted.
© Tim Grace, 28 September 2012
To the reader: Living for the day and seizing the day are different concepts. Living for the day assumes no connection with days gone or days to come. Seizing the day treats the present as an opportunity for future construction. To be absorbed by ‘this day’ for its own sake is the fun park approach to life; the alternative, is a nature park relationship with time’s daily dose. In the fun park we have an apportioned amount of time to cram the day with pleasure; what’s not done will never be done. Tomorrow is the same day of rides repeated.
To the poet: It’s from the nature park a poet learns not be concerned about tomorrow’s feast of words; we can not guess the menu. Tomorrow’s empty plate will fill; just as every other. The better care we take of today’s nature park the better will be tomorrow’s narrative. Today is tomorrow’s write of passage. Poetry thrives on adaptation to its current concerns… it can not graze on tomorrow’s grass; for that field is yet to grow.
A sunlit jetty, jutting out to sea;
a wall of rocks resist the lapping tide;
the Water’s Edge cafe is serving tea;
two tethered yachts are dancing side-by-side.
Waves absorb the jetty, drink to the bar;
it’s an all-day breakfast, a seafood quiche;
jelly-fish, tangled nets and caviar;
loose jib on the Cactus Wren breaks its leash;
a docile doberman lounges at large,
waitress brings him water in a blue dish;
father and son wave to a passing barge;
a day without limits… just as you’d wish.
. Today’s consumption will be time well spent,
. awash with moments, as were sort of meant.
© Tim Grace, 15 September 2012
To the reader: To the sound of gently lapping water I wander the coastal promenade; find an outdoor table; it’s perched at the end of a short jetty. With the morning sun’s warmth on my back I open my eyes to the scenery at large. At water’s edge, a cafe has delivered the first of many all-day breakfasts. Behind me two yachts acknowledge as passing wave. Eyes shift, a waitress is delivering a blue bowl of water to a black dog. Scene closes with a father and his young son greeting the black dog with a ‘good morning’ pat-and-chat.
To the poet: Light extends a poet’s vision into the realms of colour and movement. The crisp light of dawn is by nature poetic. With fresh aspect it exposes familiar forms to new interpretation. Dawn’s crisp exposure, fleeting as it is, delivers a lasting impression. Beyond an hour or so of rising its particular beauty is diffused to a general sense of mundane utility. The day is best seized by the touch of dawn.
Where live those demons, where do they reside?
Long-stay lodgers, cluttering cavities,
residential tenants, hard to abide,
hard to accommodate … depravities.
Where live those phobias that tease and taunt?
Reckless wranglers, robbers of niche and nest.
Thieves, gypsies and thieves, that endlessly haunt
contentment; pull upon the softest leash.
Where live those mongrels, that doggedly drain
all sense from sensibility, larking
larrikins, bedroom bandits, once again
prove themselves mad, yes… barking!
. Where lives lunacy, where does it locate?
. It lives in a kennel, barks at the gate.
© Tim Grace, 15 September 2012
To the reader: I think dog-ness needs to be recognised as a disability. My canine residents are daily afflicted by a host of phobias; translated into all manner of quirky behaviours. Between stimulus and response their processing is spontaneous and erratic; predictably, the product is most often a “dog’s breakfast”. As chaos calms, there’s a small sense of reflection but never enough to suggest that sanity will ever prevail.
To the poet: As a descriptive piece, this poem delivers a litany of pet perturbances. I love my dogs but they do have some very annoying habits that warrant occasional relegation to the metaphorical dog-house. Obviously, it was important to workshop the sonnet. I’m happy to report that both dogs agreed it was a perfect likeness of the other.
All days the same, patterned on each other;
templates, just repeated in shape and size.
How to make a difference; one from t’other?
Make love to the morning, feel her surprise.
Love’s rhythm is what sets two days apart.
Begins the flow of motion that prepares
your mind for nuance; gives the day fresh start.
When borne of love, no other compares…
for sameness is overcome. With love’s touch
the subtlety of difference is revealed,
feelings are massaged, caressed, and as such
become a new day; fresh as a green field.
. No two kisses need ever be the same,
. with love’s rebirth, each day takes a new frame.
© Tim Grace, 8 September 2012
To the reader: Love is a refreshing agent. Its confirmation reassures and resets relationships. The natural flow of day and night cycles through the rhythm of life and love responds in kind. We are bound to love’s attraction; drawn to its affection; captured by its charm; and seduced by its sensitivity. Those delicious endorphins have us craving a new day’s kiss.
To the poet: A poem about sex doesn’t need to be lewd, crude or rude. The power of suggestion is all that’s required. As with all good art, a good poem needs to leave room for interpretation. To leave no room for suggestive imagination would mark the erotic intent as nothing more than pornographic titillation. By the splendours of a new day sameness is overcome.