saw myself 2

Saw Myself

Walked by a window, saw myself in that,
Indiana Jones takes a morning stroll,
Arranged to meet my wife, I have her hat,
So there’s time to fill; the poets on patrol.
Over the bridge there’s a flower show,
The annual collision of colours has started,
Met a friend on the way, said “hullo”
Introduced him to my wife’s hat, then we parted.
Flowers versus people, seems like even odds,
Sister says to Alex “stop running”
Totally bemused he stops…
She starts … that’s cunning!
. Indiana Jones and the blooming mess,
. What for … it’s anybody’s guess!

© Tim Grace, 13 August 2010

To the reader: Impressions by nature have a lasting effect. The look of myself reflected in a shopfront window was what caught my eye; there at my side was Indiana Jones. Together, as described by the shape of our shared hat, we were on our way to a flower show to solve a blooming mess. For the intrepid visitor, a flower show offers much in the way of spontaneous visual content; none better than the antics of siblings at play … a colorful display indeed!

To the poet: This poem is sketched out of three moments that quickly unravelled into a sequence of novel events. With twenty minutes to spare, I sat at a picnic table sandwiched between two families and began to write. The hat, the friend, the missing person, the children in dispute all assembled into this playful poem. True to the notion of a sketch, a poem like this has to be of the moment; I had to freeze and divorce myself from the action to capture its spontaneity.


saw myself saw myself




at the same time

At the Same Time

At the same time being and becoming,
Letting go of now,
It’s the whistle while you’re humming,
With the puzzlement of how.
To be the parent of tomorrow,
And the child of today,
With the sentiment of sorrow,
That promises to stay.
To be oneself and find contentment,
But to know it won’t endure,
To struggle with resentment,
To be safe but not secure.
. In a parallel dimension do we still exist?
. Do archived remnants of ourselves persist?

© Tim Grace, 10 October 2010

To the reader: Being in the now is a temporary state of presence. A non-permanent proposition that fleetingly describes all that is at a single point of time. Now is nothing more than a bridge that spans all things separated by the passage of two moments. Confusion of now as a permanent state renders the past obsolete, and casts the future as a thief; through now we nurse resentment.

To the poet: The philosophical sonnet is a good time filler. Pick a topic and ponder. In this poem thoughts, almost statements, about past, present and future unfold in couplets. The poem concludes obtusely at a final couplet containing two questions. Writing a pointless poem finds its justification in playfulness; as a creative piece of text it has an interesting shape and form; the rhymes are enjoyable and the theme is universal.


at the same time at the same time
coloured rhyme

Colour Gives it Rhyme

A dark green shadow cements
A soft green streak
To the casuarina and a white fence
That keep company with a creek.
Home to a feathered menagerie
Let loose to wing and wade
They colour-in the canopy
From crimson through to jade.
A blue wren flits nervously
In the absence of its mate,
A kingfisher sits furtively
Pleasured by its wait.
. There’s more to this than space and time,
. It’s the colour gives it rhyme.

© Tim Grace, 24 September 2010


To the reader: Waiting in space and time, keeping company with self, watching a menagerie of birds occupy a green dell; a copse of sorts. The image is pleasant, but there’s an underlying tension, as the verdant space is in constant dispute. The nervous twitch of a wren, the furtive posturing of a kingfisher, all signs of trouble in paradise. Unresolved shadows steal the certainty of green.

To the poet: Descriptive poetry relies on a strong visual scaffold. There needs to be a solid structure from which the scene can emerge as worthy of note. In this sonnet, the childhood memory of colouring-in washes over the text with a thin pallet of greens, blues and a white fence to both divide and contrast the scenery. The mix of colour and message gives the poem a satisfying tonal blend of imagery.


coloured rhyme coloured rhyme
graphite smudge

Graphite Smudge

Heavy clouds, a graphite smudge
Scraped across the page.
Waves against the sky-line nudge
The view to form a stage.
To the left a distant promontory,
Slips into the sea,
The unspoken commentary,
Of a day that’s yet to be.
To the right the yachts are reeling
Against a stubborn moor,
Eager to be keeling
As they did the day before.
. The day is but a sketchy draft,
. A script both fore and aft.

© Tim Grace, 19 September 2010


To the reader: This wordscape ties together the natural forms of a dawning day at the coast. A beautiful but not unique coast. A familiar coast to anyone who has looked across a bay to view a thin line of sand dividing the sea from green cascading hills. Picture perfect moments, as with mental postcards, become the long lasting memories of time and place. It’s the perfectly familiar view that with a rising sun stamps the scene as finished; with nature’s signature attached.

To the poet: That a poem might be framed to a wall in place of a picture is a tall order. The confines of a poet’s language are less universal than are the strokes of a painter’s brush. But in this sonnet the words attempt to place themselves on the page so as to replicate, not just describe, the scene. As suggested, the poem has a sketchy tone to its verbal drafting which provides the elements with a sense of movement and animation.


graphite smudge graphite smudge
tread lightly

Tread Lightly

The cobra takes position
Defensive in its stance
Considers its condition
With survival in its glance.
The guard upon his sentry
In demeanor is alike
He monitors the entry
And readies for a strike
Take notice of his figure
Tread lightly on his patch
Do nothing that might trigger
The ignition of his match
. Beware the enemy in wait, the spontaneous debate,
. Take care the masking of a trait … too late, too late.

© Tim Grace, 13 August 2010


To the reader: Around the world our dignitaries are guarded by ceremonial sentries. The guards are garbed in symbolism and perversely create a deliberate and distracting point of interest. The aloof but alert nature of a guard is what creates public curiosity and draws our attention away from the protected investment. Every gesture of guardianship is nuanced with reference to a larger more potent force lying in wait … ready and prepared to strike if called upon to do so.

To the poet: Short lines and simple statements in three sets of four. The first four describe a cobra coiled with the tension of a tightly wound spring. The middle four describe the counterpart; the guard in wait, the sentry at attention, the guard on guard. The final four holds together the allegory with ambiguous use of ‘his’ as either cobra or guard. The lines in the last couplet are long and stretch the use of rhyme a little too far.



tread lightly

tread lightly

not a temple

Not a Temple

In the midst of all humanity
At the centre of our core
Where commonsense and sanity
Bring reason to the fore.
There’s a comfortable liaison
An inner peace of mind
Free from all invasion
From tanglement and bind
Here we find tranquility
A balancing of thoughts
The essence of stability
A sanctuary of sorts
. Somewhere transcendental – a perfect line
. Not a temple, neither monument nor shrine.

© Tim Grace, 6 August 2010

To the reader: Finding tranquility in the midst of chaos is no easy task but it’s a key to surviving the rat race. To some extent spiritual establishments provide a solid but artificial solution. They offer a sanctum of silence from which to escape into isolation until the self is sufficiently restored. The more mobile and accessible solution is to draw upon inner resources that overcome the confusion of chaos through quiet reflection. For me, restoration is achieved through meditative moments with a coffee or pen in hand.

To the poet: To highlight the difference between a transcendental state and a spiritual place this sonnet plays with positional phrases; the first three lines begin with in, at, and where. The second four lines, themselves in a mid-point, enter the inner sanctum of the self at peace. The last of the four line stanzas is descriptive of an essence given a substantive location … albeit transcendental.


not a temple not a temple