Wednesday, 28 May 2014

An Affinity with Ghosts

We need to measure time in seconds, minutes, hours and days etc. to give our very existence a semblance of structure; similarly, we need language to communicate and try (at least) to make sense of it.  Time and again, though, I get the feeling we are working from false premises. Certainly, means do not necessarily justify ends which, in turn, as often as not, prove to be unfit for purpose. They may well satisfy some of us some of the time, but what about the rest of us and all that leftover time?

For a bigger picture than even the most detailed archives convey, we can but try to read between lines we so love to draw in sand (and the arts) if only to explore the spaces and establish an affinity of sorts with the immeasurable and indescribable…


Where wintry days  
would have left us hanging
by dark memory’s thread,
returned to life in the flicker
of a sparrow’s eye seconds
before closing another window
on the world

Shadows, a gathering
of ghosts around weepy graves
littered with fading flowers
(and leftovers for crocodiles)
pooling a-political
policies of positive thought
to share without fear
or prejudice wherever eyes
to see, ears to listen,
lips capable of movement
without strings,
the human heart engaging
with centuries
of its learning and unlearning,
the human mind
discovering and rediscovering,
shaping and reshaping,
working and (ever) reworking
parodies of human nature,
cartoons giving its home truths
a run for their money,
will-o'-the-wisp in the wind,
affinity with ghosts
and Earth Mother preparing
to leave tracks
for blind voyagers across time
and space…
mocking humankind’s obsession
with raison d’ĂȘtre
as distorted by a penchant
for alter-ego
as measuring the immeasurable
if only to prove it can be done
for sanity’s sake - or Everything
is Chaos

I spotted the bird,
they shot, and caught it,
a sticky red heat
on bare hands clinging
to life, faint pulse
denying death a victory
until nature in its wisdom
giving it the nod

Will-o'-the-wisp, stuff of nature
in every beat the heart skips

Copyright R. N. Taber 2014

[Note: A will-o'-the-wisp is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps, or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o'-lantern, friar's lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English folk belief, and is well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.]

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