on perception and memory…

I met an old and dear friend for dinner this week, someone who is – outside of family – my longest-known-and-still-in-contact-with person. We’ve known each other 40 years, but have lived quite distinct lives for the last 35 – catching up sometimes rarely, but in that glorious “it’s as though the intervening time hasn’t happened” way.

And yet it has. Sitting, post-prandial, by the log fire in a wonderful rural inn, we spoke about various Stuff that’s happened over recent years, and there was a sudden lull. A joint pondering. He said, “man, but there’s been so much…”

So much Life, is what he meant. Between ‘us then’ and ‘us now’, we have each lived full grown-up lives and despite the natural familiarity are, in fact, largely strangers.

Which got me thinking – good, positive pondering, like a visit from the Muse – about this friendship, and others, spanning years and yet to all intents fixed on a small space of actuality: a tiny fraction of Time Known, where there was a tight connection, with the intervening years enhanced by that strong sense of recognition – a tie, a bond, a lasting connection – which is actually a memory, a perception, and no longer a reality.

My dinner companion was a hugely important part of my life 35 years ago, and the essence of that remains. I’ve spotted him, occasionally, in other men, in other decades. The glimpse always draws me. It’s that memory of something… perhaps it’s unfinished business from a previous life. Perhaps it’s a quest on behalf of an alternative self in a parallel world. Perhaps it’s just a hunger.

Ah, but it was a gentle and welcome Muse. It resulted in a poem:

the idea of you

A thing or two

fullsizeoutput_9b3

.

Half a million words

lie in my basement

(our basement)

tumbled in wait for

post-apocalyptic feast

when I will devour them

alone

in one

long

gluttonous

wordy

orgy

.

No.

I will savour them

slowly, in tiny mouthfuls

of delayed gratification

Enough for a book

or three, or five

Took that time to write

Take that time to read

.

makes me pause

wordless

devoid

.

I will eat my words

(our words)

Gone, carry on

This loss bears

no witness

.

I will feast

one final time and

watch the basement implode

                                                              ⁃ zand, May 2019

Foot on the accelerator

 

IMG_2463

A sweep of grey concrete opens before you

Cresting, dipping, turning in to the

hard line of the commute – coloured steel

hues melding into a slow line of duty,

the flow of morning conformity.

Commute, comply, coexist, why not?

 

You have your foot on the accelerator

as the distant light turns from green

to amber –

 

closer than you think?

Perhaps.

 

– you have your foot on the accelerator

as the nearing light turns from green

to amber, you are the pilot on automatic

who for a second’s moment sees impulse

as choice whilst choice becomes impulse

though who knows the Truth of it anyway?

Decisions are made, one’s own life

obtusely held within one’s own capable hands,

and the foot pauses or presses,

movement halts or flies – almost on a whim

As if nothing drove it. As though it were random.

You continue, Commuter – a momentary

annoyance for those paused unwittingly

or a heartbeat’s fear for those in your way.

Remind them: memento mori. It’s good

for the soul to de-commute for a bit.

De-comply. De-conform.

Cease to coexist. Detach.

Be a Good Citizen of the Road

but don’t lack imagination –

when all’s said and done it’s what we have left to work with.

 

For now, you are the god of the road.

Decisions and choices are made by those who lead.

Conformity may be your creed but Impulse is your devil,

Choice remains your elusive Holy Ghost, and the

poet racks up another few lines no matter what.

 

Commuters reach their point, beyond warm concrete

which now rests a while, it doesn’t care either way.

The foot lifts from the accelerator.

The heart beats.

Zand, 8thJune 2018

01:17 a.m.

img_0417

So You got hacked
and now my phone is dead
from following an
email link
which came late
when i was weary
and trusting
You
and i
forgot to remember
You’re a virus
leaving me unable to communicate
with those who
don’t follow
late night links sent
from idiots whose
idea of fun
is tying up time
in online bondage
time that could have
been spent
communing
with me...
You’re a digital virus
rendering me mute
You should have
called instead.

 sandie zand, 01:17 3rd Feb 2018

Hot air

breath on ice

melting

melting

this is how it goes

vague white fading

to colour and

the world righted

in a handful

of cracks

 

and this really is

how

it

goes

when breathing

hot air onto ice.

 

we will find time, of

course, before the melt

to write

about the beauty

of Chione’s touch – oh

such divinity in nature –

and exalt perception’s

glistening, how it

invites us anew

to capture, contain,

describe, admire,

explain…

bring meaning

share…

we will share

oh god will we share – out there,

beyond our sphere, reaching into places which

should be out of reach but are not

– and in this sharing,

this caring if you like,

(you like? yes, you like)

others will

see

just

how

special

we are.

 

but we will still

blow hot air on ice –

we will write our world

 

 

(Photo by Marcus Löfvenberg on Unsplash)

Against Certainty…

fcb78296ed1737862906181500b5437bd57b63f0-1024x683Against Certainty (by Stanley Kunitz)

There is something out in the dark that wants to correct us. 
Each time I think “this,” it answers “that.” 
Answers hard, in the heart-grammar’s strictness. 

If I then say “that,” it too is taken away. 

Between certainty and the real, an ancient enmity. 
When the cat waits in the path-hedge, 
no cell of her body is not waiting. 
This is how she is able so completely to disappear. 

I would like to enter the silence portion as she does. 

To live amid the great vanishing as a cat must live, 
one shadow fully at ease inside another.