Unacknowledged this hawk-eyed underlife;
unseen, hovering soundlessly above,
observes our attempts to communicate.
Bars and then spaces, spaces and then bars;
words and then spaces, spaces and then words.
Music, conversation in the early dawn.

My words cut glass, a trigonometry.
Yours a slice of reality TV.
Cutting edge music this, fraught with discord.
Words enfold mirrored worlds; space echoes space.
Uncharted, the space within the worlds;
chimeric, the worlds within the spaces.

You twitter from inside, captive songbird.
I twitter from outside, locked out, exiled,
feeding this bonfire of words to keep warm,
maybe finding among these words refuge,
sanctuary, a hiding place. And then
some note peeps deep within that melody,

tingles in my ear, tiptoes warily
into the light: the song of the phoenix;
lightning bolt sending a shiver up the spine.
The unwatched cauldron at last boils over
revealing us to be understudies,
stand-ins while God is otherwise engaged,

and your words creep up inside of me now
as mine inside you. Sentences repealed.
Downside is upside; outside inside out.
We come, we go, yet eternally still.
My lofty mathematical conceits
and your vacuous documentaries

abandoned in shame. Who were we fooling?
There’s me describing a sphere with tangents
and you describing the plot of some soap.
Just what the hell were we trying to prove,
sitting huddled round a word to keep warm?
Let’s leave this documentary alone.

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on November 17, 2011, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. quite interesting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am still learning more of what it means. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m open for discussion if required as I know it isn’t exactly open and shut. Sorry, but that’s the way it emerged.

    Thank you for taking the time to read it and commenting.


  3. I am back here to read in the still night, Ben. This poem has a great deal of meaning for me. It tells how communication can fail between two people as they talk ‘past’ each other… neither paying attention to the other. I love your references to ‘understudies’ and ‘underlife’ because that’s exactly how it feels sometimes! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Ben Naga and commented:

    Reposted from long ago.


  5. When one moves beyond anger and hurt, one realizes the soap opera and trigonometry are not that far apart, which you seem to understand as well, “and your words creep up inside of me now as mine inside you. Sentences repealed. Downside is upside; outside inside out. We come, we go, yet eternally still.”

    Beyond (alongside?) the illusion of separation lies a hologram of perfection we, ourselves template and it is right. there. As thin as a slice of infinity. Yet until we reach a state whereby we are able to access it, we do what we can to quell the quaking of existence in a tenuous physical universe. For some it’s reality t.v. Others, numbers. For me, it’s words. But it could have been numbers. Though never reality t.v. But for some …

    Nice write.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved this! Don’t remember seeing it before so glad you re-posted. Brought to mind so many images (can’t put into words – it’s like that poetry-physics thing, to be understood intuitively but only explained in metaphors or analogies. Like fractals and paisley? Also makes me think of “Dangling Conversations” (Paul Simon). “You read your Emily Dickinson, and I my Robert Frost….”
    Sorry if I’m not making sense!
    Bottom line – a great poem which DOES make sense. You’re a master at taking the nuanced human interaction and creating a work of art in words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I can see the echo (if I may mix my senses here ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) of the Paul Simon song – one I always loved. I don’t know whether I recognised this when I first wrote it back in the mid-70’s or when I did a major rewrite in 2011. Your comment certainly makes sense to me and hopefully not one which is too far from what you wished to convey.

      Once again your praise seems to me to be far more fulsome than I feel is worthy. I am grateful nonetheless. Thank you, Betty. And at least you did’t call me a paisley sage. ๐Ÿ˜›


  7. Glad my comment made sense to you… I sometimes go off in wordy tangents of digression, as you know. ๐Ÿ˜ต Paisley sage….well you ARE a sage who’s interested in fractals, now that you mention it. ๐Ÿ˜œ
    By the way, “Dangling Conversations” is one of my favorite S and G songs also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And of course “The Dangling Conversation” comes from Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, which is my excuse for the abominable wordplay. If only you were named Rosemary rather than Betty. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funny you should say that. I’ve never liked my name and always wished it was “Mary”. So Rosemary would be fine too. (And I wouldn’t call your wordplay abominable. You’re always right on thyme. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜† )

        Liked by 1 person

      • Momentously so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Oddly/strangely enough my mother, whose birth name was Leanda Agnes May always went by the name of Betty while signing documents as L. A. M. Roper.

        Liked by 1 person

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