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Thread: Blank Canvas

  1. #1
    The puddytat you saw Hawkman's Avatar
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    Blank Canvas

    Atop coastal cliffs one sees them;
    well-wrapped passengers, in pairs,
    weathering the winter
    sitting in parked cars,
    gazing through windscreens
    fogged by tea-steam.

    They are, ‘admiring the view,’
    that vast expanse of grey,
    one topped by another.
    ‘Isn’t it nice,’ they say.

    You can see them in the summer too,
    but then the windows are wound down
    and clothing’s shed,
    save for shorts and tee-shirts.
    In summer, if they’re lucky,
    they may see a lot of blue,
    but likely it’ll still be grey
    although, perhaps, a paler shade.

    What, exactly, is it that has caught the eye?
    The slightly denser patch betraying
    the presence of a frigate in the mist,
    or the masted slivers of white fibreglass
    that flail tricorn sails at the sky?
    Perhaps it is the curved inversion of a smile,
    that fuzzy boundary of the rounded earth
    which demarcates the limits of all sight.

    There is no drama here, no view.
    Nothing to engage or occupy the mind.

    It is the emptiness they so admire,
    a blank screen for projections
    in a moment of stillness,
    somewhere for childhood memories
    to flicker briefly in a mind
    more usually preoccupied
    with dealing with sciatica
    or an irritable bowel.
    Last edited by Hawkman; 03-11-2013 at 06:59 AM.
    Oh no, not again...

  2. #2
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    From too much shooting from the hip.

  3. #3
    The puddytat you saw Hawkman's Avatar
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    Who knows the secrets of the Black Magic box?
    Oh no, not again...

  4. #4
    dark angel Haunted's Avatar
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    The opening immediately grabs me with the amazing detail of "windscreens / fogged by tea-steam". The best is yet to come, with "the curved inversion of a smile". I've never read the horizon described this way, it's so refreshing and different. The whole poem is so well constructed, the attempt at humor at closing is overkill, methinks.

    "But do you really, seriously, Major Scobie," Dr. Sykes asked, "believe in hell?"
    "Oh, yes, I do."
    "In flames and torment?"
    "Perhaps not quite that. They tell us it may be a permanent sense of loss."
    "That sort of hell wouldn't worry me," Fellowes said.
    "Perhaps you've never lost anything of importance," Scobie said.

  5. #5
    The puddytat you saw Hawkman's Avatar
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    Hi Haunted, and thanks for reading and for your positives comments. Interesting that you consider the closing lines as an Attempt at humour. I didn't intend any levity in them at all. There is something wrong with the stanza though. I think I need to cut "I think" from the first line of the stanza. Glad you liked the tea steam and the horizon

    Live and be well - H
    Oh no, not again...

  6. #6
    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    I so look forward to this scenery in two weeks time....
    The Rotten Apple Injures its Neighbour

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkman View Post
    Atop coastal cliffs one sees them;
    well-wrapped passengers, in pairs,
    weathering the winter
    sitting in parked cars,
    gazing through windscreens
    fogged by tea-steam.

    They are, ‘admiring the view,’
    that vast expanse of grey,
    one topped by another.
    ‘Isn’t it nice,’ they say.

    You can see them in the summer too,
    but then the windows are wound down
    and clothing’s shed,
    save for shorts and tee-shirts.
    In summer, if they’re lucky,
    they may see a lot of blue,
    but likely it’ll still be grey
    although, perhaps, a paler shade.

    What, exactly, is it that has caught the eye?
    The slightly denser patch betraying
    the presence of a frigate in the mist,
    or the masted slivers of white fibreglass
    that flail tricorn sails at the sky?
    Perhaps it is the curved inversion of a smile,
    that fuzzy boundary of the rounded earth
    which demarcates the limits of all sight.

    There is no drama here, no view.
    Nothing to engage or occupy the mind.

    I think it is the emptiness they so admire,
    a blank screen for projections,
    a moment of stillness,
    somewhere for childhood memories
    to flicker briefly in a mind
    more usually preoccupied
    with dealing with sciatica
    or an irritable bowel.
    Things fizzle out and in a while all we remain left with is blankness, something of a canvas. The canvas is a mind and anything painted thereon becomes the temporal theme. Scenes change when flashes paste there of something we have don in our childhood or in adulthood or now and nothing reserves enough space since there is little space in our psychic terrain.

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