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    • Entrance
      PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   He glides the Hog to the sidewalk, blips the throttle then kills the big twin cam but not cleanly, the rig shakes twice with pre-ignition. Shit!  –  He hates when that happens, it spoils an entrance.   A creak of leathers and he’s […]
    • In its defence
      I was asked today to write about a hat! Please click on the arrow button above to hear this poem   The good thing is that it travels well. It has little style only patterned stitch work marks its drab coarse surface. Khaki cover for a nascent bald patch, a guard against the mid-day sun. […]
    • Last Orders
      Writers always ‘mine’ their childhood, but the gleanings can be thin.      Please click on the arrow button above to hear this poem Every night at seven, he shed the family skin took off the shirt he had worn one day washed at the kitchen sink in his vest, the clean shirt  ironed and waiting. Not once […]
    • Voices in the Reeds
      The Blythburgh Estuary, such a wonderfully calm landscape, or is it?     PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   The Blyth snakes down to the brine soothing our senses as it idly curls grazing  past  tall murmuring reeds, stirred to voice by a gentle breeze.   We mishear that […]
    • Spot the Hat
      This poem started in a session of poets writing together, with Michael Laskey and Dean Parkin. Dean produced a ‘Spot the Ball’ page from an old newspaper, and we all enjoyed marking our X.    We all missed!   PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   Do you remember ‘Spot […]
    • A Sieve with no Mesh
      What madness is this, in old age — trying to rationalise your relationships as a child? PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   Skimmed  thoughts rise from lost time, flotsam — teasing incompleteness, fragments of fractured memories jigsaw pieces with no mapping image, random glimpses I sift for my father. Six […]
    • Black Friday
      Who considers this American import matches the idea of ‘Seasonal Goodwill’?   Black Friday, the official day to be suitably depressed by buyers and sellers greed. Not to be confused with The Black Death, but similar in effect.        
    • A Young Ornithologist’s Primer
      This poem was written after my wife Jean said that she would write a children’s book called ‘That Bastard Bird’   PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS READ.   See the big bird. The big bird’s name is Percy. Percy has big feet. Percy’s big feet scratch in the garden. See […]
    • Simple Joy (for Jacqui Jones interactive artwork at The Undercroft)
      This poem is itself an interactive response.  Jacqui liked the reference to ‘simple joy’ in my poem Migration Counterpoint and decided that concept would be the subject matter of the interactive installation she was to display in The Undercroft in Norwich, for the 2015 Norwich Fringe Festival.  When she told me that I wrote and […]
    • Cycles of the Light
      National Poetry day’s theme this year was Light, and Suffolk Poetry Society invited me to join some of the other members to read poetry and celebrate the day in Aldeburgh.  We took turns to read on the circular staircase of The South Lookout on Aldeburgh beach in perfect weather, warm sun with the light shining off […]

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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