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    • Equivalence
      It was recently discovered, by accident, that I may have had for some time a low grade cancer, which is now scheduled to be treated with chemotherapy.  As I have minimal symptoms it was agreed that my wife and I could still enjoy our river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest.  This poem is a postcard […]
    • As The Light Changes
      The East Anglian Daily Times ran an article entitled ’22 beautiful poems about East Anglia’ in their Saturday magazine insert on March 18th this year. I was very pleased to see this poem of mine on the same page as poems by Sir Walter Raleigh and George Szirtes. TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON […]
    • The Last Word
      By way of a change, here is a short piece of prose: In a writers’ group this morning we were challenged to write a short story in 150 words.  The story below contains exactly that number.   The light was starting to fade, and breaking soft waves seemed even quieter.  He stopped collecting pebbles and […]
    • Moving Hands
      How many things that  seemed eternal early in life, have completely vanished?                         TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW ABOVE   Sometime in the nineteen-fifties it perched on the hundred-foot workshop,  where Waitrose’s  entrance is now. It would pace the working lives of hundreds. […]
    • You know you are worth it
      I wrote this poem in mid November this year, then my e-mail inbox started to fill with ‘Pre-Black Friday’ offers, then ‘Black Friday’ offers, followed later by ‘Post Black Friday’ offers, and now I am seeing ‘Black Friday repeat offers’!  Reality has overtaken imagination.   TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE […]
    • Poems for a portrait
      I agreed to sit as the model again this morning for an art group producing portraits.  We had a cultural exchange as at the end of the two sessions as I recited the Haikus composed in my head during the forty minutes of the sitting.  I then exchanged a book of my poetry for the […]
    • Last Orders
      This poem won a ‘Commended’ award in the recent 2016 George Crabbe Poetry Competition.  The competition judge, Moniza Alvi, wrote of ‘Last Orders’ “Tragic and hard hitting, I found this poignant poem compelling.”  ” This is a poem with a real sense of urgency”. PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM […]
    • Irony
      During a few days in Liverpool we visited Crosby Beach, to see the Antony Gormley sculptures arranged as  ‘Another Place’.  Two friends had been examining the work, and turned to walk off the beach.  I took the photograph below, and the poem was written after I examined the image, using an  element of artistic license. ‘Communing’ […]
    • Illuminating Longing
      Here is a shared experience from the night of the full ‘Strawberry  Moon’ on June 20th.  A warm evening after a wet morning promised the sight of Nightjars hunting, and the moon was a bonus, PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   The mist quilt  slips across the sodden heath […]
    • Soon the Longing can begin
      Two days after the referendum, and still dazed by the result. PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   Soon the longing can begin, but the awareness of our loss will take longer for all to own. Already the Young feel despair for they were closer to hope than the wrinkled, […]

Perception

The simple act of looking is one of the most complex processes that our body carries out.  It is also a perfect illusion, because it convinces us that reality is universally identical.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM

 

brown eye 2

How convinced we are that what we see is true.
We think, if nothing else, we can believe our eyes –
but these light receptors have a coloured history.

In raw, unknown, pre-historic seas
simple celled life rose to the surface,
drawn to the Sun’s life-enhancing light.
Infinitesimally genes were imprinted
encoded to recognise yellow and blue,
the only  hues  in those drab millennia,
all other awareness was shaded to grey.
Aeons later  the block was unlocked, as
within the eyes of  dominant Primates
constructs of cones and rods evolved
the spectrum bloomed in reds and greens.
A spectacular uplift in visual perception,
new  selectors for fruits or danger alerts.
An extended palette,  whose  combinations
gave their distant descendants the Earth.

 

We now know  colour is a personal  illusion –
a brain production,  managed by memory
events and language, modified by mood.
Each of us lives in a uniquely coloured world,
where we  can map and match individual shades,
but  never  can know what other people  see.
Chemistry and physics structure  our vision
in subtle interactions and juxtapositions
creating perception in our cerebral cortex.
How complex the process; how certain we are
of the self-confirming power of sight.

 

Dragonflies rise from the warm sandy path
bejewelling the  heather’s flowering brevity.
an undulating Yaffle cackles as it flies
– red, green and yellow swoops over purple.
This vibrant  kaleidoscope cites my reality.

 

Yaffle’ is the onomatopoeic name in the Suffolk dialect for the Green Woodpecker 

 

 

 

 

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