In pursuit of perfection’s guarantee
we chase that which is better than the best.
Nothing could not “ten times the better be”
as steadied, then readied, for Time’s cruel test.
All the world’s treasuries do not stand still;
those with gold glint, with crystals shimmer.
Those animated vaults of potential
are the genesis of hopeful glimmer.
Flushed with abundance, they lack not any
of the comforts that come with fortune’s care.
That which is ‘one’ finds itself with ‘many’
and so on, ten times, produces an heir.
. Ten times the merrier, ten times the wealth.
. Ten times the better, through sickness and health.
To the reader: The idea of abundance sounds agrarian to an urban ear. As a man of his time, Shakespeare was an advocate of reap and harvest, stack and store; his reference was a time of uncertainty. Ten times the better be… seems his ideal solution to a number of problems. The simple model derives sufficient resources from a stash of plenty. It’s about making the most of what’s available, to ensure today’s waste or laziness is not tomorrow’s sorrowful regret.
To the poet: In a few of Shakespeare’s sonnets he refers to ‘ten’ as a number of good use and satisfaction. Ten times the better be for all manner of circumstances; from procreation (WS-S6) to imagination (WS-S38) for happiness (WS-S37) and amusement. And so began my sonnet (TG-S217)) about over-reaching for the sake of abundance; ever the need for surplus … just in case.
Artobiography – the self-exposed.
Personal revelation on display:
persuasions, curiosities disclosed;
individual leanings that swing and sway.
Privacy – an open exhibition.
Voyeurs at large, a see-through medium,
en masse titillation; imposition;
pastiche motif; pretensions on parade.
A synthetic construct, superficial,
skin-deep patina, costume masquerade;
disguised reality – artificial.
. What of art that it adores expression,
. and yet, so crudely ignores discretion?
To the reader: Exhibitionism or exhibitionist – an empty distinction. The expose of self as art. The narcissist, an introspective voyeur on public display. Made naked for self-amusement. Inside-outside. Flesh-coloured drapes on see-through windows. Shock therapist using auto-simulation as creative medium; seminal concept becomes revelation. Artobiography – a crude craft on revealing canvas.
To the poet: Inspiration for this sonnet was a documentary on avant-garde art. The various vignettes portrayed a series of self-absorbed indulgences. Confusion over purpose was laid bear. A naked clambering for notoriety; easily achieved through public shock. Nothing more than a sideshow curiosity laying claim to creative space. As a writer, I can appeal to a reader’s instinct for novelty… the forbidden and perverse are easy grabs.
To all things my interest cannot attend.
I am responsive to movement, colours
and the scent of life; all things so contend
for my attention; distinct of others.
One thing for the moment will steal my gaze.
I take note of that which sways and swishes.
That which has rhythm to my interest plays,
so becomes the pick of many wishes.
I’m partial to soft tones that glow; that blush
the dull canvas with a rose-coloured tint.
I’m partial to that which is full and lush;
that which brings love to life with perfumed hint.
. I cannot attend to all things in sight;
. instead, I seek what gives my eyes delight.
To the reader: Programmed to attend to life’s rhythm; we literally seek and appreciate animation. Some movements have particular powers of attraction. The effortless ‘sway and swish’ of a wiggling-walk makes alluring theatre. The long-stride of confidence without pretence or contrivance draws attention. The nonchalant amble of a carefree character entertains our imagination. Powers of observation energise our interest; sharpen our focus.
To the poet: Infatuation lacks restraint. To ogle is obsessive. Admiration construes a connection. Polite interest requires distance, it respects the dignity of a shared space; eye-contact is confirmed not consumated. From a poet’s vantage point there’s a code of practice that applies to people watching. As subjects of interest ‘the observed’ will tolerate a casual glance; not so an intrusive gaze.
In constant measure, at relentless pace,
makes meaningless: to stop, to pause, to rest.
For every endeavour an endless chase,
a continuous stream of life abreast.
If not one thing, another; all things merge,
detail is lost, rendered as a background blur.
Not something new, not a modern scourge,
simply this day prepared for life ‘du jour’.
Living alongside what has come and gone,
as to be repeated then multiplied.
Think of it as ‘de ja vous’, think upon
all things as one, where time and space collide.
. If time portrays no obedience,
. it qualifies as no convenience.
To the reader: In some respects, time is a container; a higgledy-piggledy box of events. Each day I select a sample of interests that I add to my biographical anthology. Unlike most boxes, this one is endlessly expandable; made of a curious material that responds to its content. It’s a durable, self-repairing material: water-proof, fire-proof, and wind-proof. It’s a permeable membrane, it’s an impervious membrane; it’s a membrane that forgets and remembers.
To the poet: This box is not a trap. When writing poetry, there’s an endless choice of material; content. Your sources are infinite; beyond experience, the only limit is the extent of your imagination. The poem (seen as a membrane) represents time: “it’s a permeable membrane, it’s an impervious membrane; it’s a membrane that forgets and remembers.”
Usually, one of the early risers;
from sun-up, noting texture of the day.
Mostly ready, for the day’s surprises;
well-prepared, well-postured, for come what may.
But today I’m late, I’ve lost advantage;
just one of many, recently arrived.
Left to share a script on a crowded stage;
just one of the collective, so contrived.
Late… my expansive day has been confined.
I’m now a post-script that time has stolen;
an after-thought, yet to be assigned.
I’m a conscript, a left-over colon.
. With an early start, you design your day,
. Leave it too late, and to a script you’ll play.
To the reader: As routine activities become more general they acquire a network of dependencies. My morning routine is like that. It might appear that I’m up early and out the door to do some writing. Not so, it seems. Small changes to parts of my morning mission can torpedo the enterprise. With a small series of delays, I find myself cornered in a crowded café. No words can describe my…
To the poet: Writing about writing is an introspective task; somewhat therapeutic, slightly poignant. A metacognitive indulgence that’s occasionally excused by a patient reader; one with a forgiving nature. Unpacking this sonnet, reveals its block-like construction. Inevitably, piece-by-piece, the puzzle is connected; rules are followed and so it lazily meets its final couplet… late to arrive at its conclusion.
From love, love borrows that which love has lent.
When love says: “I love you” love says the same.
And so love is a circular argument.
It’s a roundabout affair; claim for claim.
“Good night” love says, the same is love’s reply.
“Sweet dreams” love says, anointed with a kiss.
“Sleep tight” love says, so starts a lullaby.
When love says “I’m here” there’s nothing amiss;
Love’s partner is love, together complete.
It’s through confirmation that love endures.
“I love you” said once, deserves repeat.
“I love you” and “I love you” reassures.
. Upon love’s roundabout, spins love’s intent,
. With each return, there rides love’s sentiment.
To the reader: The structure of the heart has it working two-parts as one. The circulation of a life-force makes it the ideal metaphor for ‘love-central’. With responsive rhythm, the heart renews and refreshes. It’s no coincidence then, that living and loving are such united motivations. Together they fulfil our physical and emotional needs; one fuels, the other fires.
To the poet: Sentiment is an ink that never fully dries. Its wet nature bleeds and smudges at the slightest touch. To control the flow of sentiment takes the skill of a water-colourist. The risk of over-working is ever-present; accident and incident are heavy handed partners. Sentiment is a translucent medium that washes over page and canvas with diffusive effect; a touch too much and recognition is lost.