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    • 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, […]
    • Deleting Footnotes
      This poem recently was selected by Helen Ivory for appearance in the poetry webzine  ‘Ink, Sweat and Tears‘, it also appeared the the Suffolk Poetry Society’s magazine ‘Twelve Rivers’. PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   You can never prepare for this task. It demands no passion in the wrecking, just […]
    • 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. […]
    • 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 […]

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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