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On Understanding

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  • On Understanding

    On Understanding

    Salty time that flows and drifts,
    That floods, then ebbs away;
    A year, an age, an eon sifts
    Through fingers, as a day.

    Of time and tides and god's great marvel
    And deeds of long dead men,
    These knotted snarls I'll soon unravel,
    They'll fall within my ken.

    The sun, the stars, in their constellations,
    The planets hung round about,
    The hoary histories of all the nations,
    As will murder, these will out.

    At last I'll grasp the shrouded mind,
    The writhed mind of man;
    Where desire's paths wend and wind
    From the perhaps to can.

    Yet all I know, bright understanding,
    Only tricks befit a parlor,
    Or words flung from a staircase landing,
    Spoke with childish ardor.

    So soon, too soon, arrived upon
    The fourth, the final stile.
    And all great distances I have gone
    Seem now the scantest mile.

    From dried waste of dark cast shadow
    Walks out the hardened skeptic,
    Upon a gray and misty meadow
    Clad as a naive mystic,

    To know the seed was but a word
    Of vast improbability.
    I am one — I alone — the Lord
    Of all existence, I am He!

    John Wertz
    2014

    Bluffton, South Carolina
    Last edited by John Wertz; 01-04-2015, 05:10 AM.

  • #2
    Hi John, I like this... thanks

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    • #3
      Wow, another great poem. The rhythm and cadence is perfect. You have a wonderful style and are a very skilled poet. I can only hope that you post more and that you and DF share your wisdom with the rest of us.
      Love these lines:
      "Yet all I know, bright understanding,
      Only tricks befit a parlor,
      Or words flung from a staircase landing,
      Spoke with childish ardor."

      Thanks for sharing this with us.

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      • #4
        Lovely! Triple wow!

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        • #5
          very nice

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          • #6
            Thanks so much John, Sarah, and Pamela

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            • #7
              I was enchanted by the double metaphor in the first stanza, from liquid to sand, and even the phrase "salty time" felt fresh -- but you cemented it with the Shakespearean allusion. Very well done.

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              • #8
                Hello Aenigma, Thanks so much for the kind words. I really like your thumbnail. Who or what is that image? Looks familiar, but I can't quite place it.

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                • #9
                  Beautifully written. Love the imagery and use of inventive writing! Thank you!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks so much Stephanie.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, John! The image may be familiar because it is a rendering of the center of an Aztec Sun Stone. The photo itself is a detail of a mural two talented artists placed on an old bank building in Manhattan's East Village, as part of neat interactive performance / game that took place over the course of a summer. (http://13portals.com/portals/portal01.jpg) And then that's me, blurrily blending into the margin. Thought it seemed appropriately enigmatic.

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                      • #12
                        Though bit of an enigma, wishing it took me to something more easily defined. I feel myself intrigued. Wonderful use of the language, I haven't used or heard the word hoary in quite awhile. Some poems befit a poets hear, to bedevil and beguile.

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                        • #13
                          Hi Divot, Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Re. "something more easily defined," I must say that I have been striving of late toward more use of ambiguous meaning -- seems to be the style now -- but really eccentric language I try to stay away form.

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                          • #14
                            Congratulations on the Honorable mention! It is good to know that out of such a large sea of submissions your brilliance was not over looked.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks John. Much appreciated.

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