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.
© Tim Grace, 5 January 2013
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.”
What we know of air is a Priestley sum;
makes an experimental masterpiece.
Through simple observation so we come
to learn from nature; wonders shall not cease:
that air might be exhausted then restored;
made stale and then repaired; broken then fixed.
Such are the problems science has explored,
mulled over, pondered on, and stood betwixt.
How so that the planet breathes, breath for breath,
exchanging one gas for another’s use?
How so that nature freshens the smell of death,
converts putrid soup into perfumed juice?
. Through unity all things are so divined.
. Make nothing separate as should be combined.
© Tim Grace, 25 November 2012
To the reader: Throughout life, Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) travelled an awkward, and often uncomfortable, path of self-discovery. A precocious child who absorbed knowledge with sponge-like thirst. A dissenting adult who, through deep faith, sought to unify humanity’s purposeful existence. A revered polymath constricted by dogma and intolerance; a disgruntled citizen. In sum, a brave soul who introduced the world to the deity of science and rational belief.
To the poet: Joseph Priestly was a great writer; a highly respected grammarian, alas it seems not a poet. My exposure to his masterful prosaic-skill was through his writing on the investigation of air; this kid knew how to write-up an experiment. The narrative style is intoxicating; refined and rugged… phlogisticated. The scientific brain exposed for his peers to pursue; and for all else to admire. Surely another canditate for membership of ‘The Science Class You Wish You Had…‘
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,
You’re 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: The multi-layered dimensions of life are not neatly stacked into rows nor columns. In a physical sense most of what we did yesterday is irretrievably gone. Likewise, tomorrow’s organization is as much fantasy as it is fact. And so today becomes the main arena, the fleeting zone of action and influence. By necessity then, much of what is done is overlapped with conflicting pressures and contrasting roles; all at once occurring.
To the poet: The subject of this sonnet is the conundrum. The persistent puzzle of being and becoming all at once. The challenge of writing a convincing argument about puzzlement is to end it still in wonder; and so the last two lines are questions. In this sonnet the rhyming structure (ABAB) could be split into two halves (AABB) and almost keep its sense of narrative.
Fourteen lines of rhyming verse
No need for clever tricks.
Obey the rules or face a curse
No remedy can fix!
For those who can not do as told
There is no path to glory.
In sets of four the tale unfolds
And so becomes a story.
Be not tempted into broad display
Do not detail every instance.
Resist the line that leads astray
It’s the curse of least resistance.
. Let the story tell itself, no metaphor need mix,
. A story is a story, not like a pile of bricks.
© Tim Grace, 4 February 2010
To the reader: As the traveller and poet learn, new ideas are built upon loose impressions that over time mature into tighter understandings. In the early stages of construction an idea is best left unconstrained and deserves the liberty to indulge in vagueness; to question and wonder without the confinement of certainty.
To the poet: The best comparisons happen naturally and need no forcing. Telling a reader that one thing is like another strips a poem of its own power to conjure a playful twist of thought. Vagueness in a literary sense can establish an intriguing ambiguity; it is suggestive and creatively loose – enticing.