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Wednesday, 18 November 2009



File:Mottenflügel in Mikroskop.jpg

Wings thinly scaled in postmedian light
appear transparent. The one last
isolated colony is about to die out.
Alighting on a bright patch of reeking mud,
she holds her wings over her back,
turning toward the small patch of sun,
and leans to the side, so that
the shadow she casts is minimized.
In this way she's protected.

File:Brown butterfly.jpg

Butterfly wingscales: microphoto by Jan Homann, 2000
Brown butterfly on leaf: photo by chung-tung yeh, 2005


Anonymous said...

I am thinking, you are one un-narcisstic Poet.I have actually been thinking that since first I started reading your words.
This is very beautiful Thomas.She is so.
'the shadow she casts is minimized.
In this way she's protected' I hope.But I am thinking, somethings are just too beautiful to live.

TC said...

Well, she is protected if no predator glimpses so much as a shiver or a splinter of her shadow, but of course that is a rather precarious protection at best.

I can identify with the impulse to make oneself invisible so as to live.

The one truly un-narcissistic poet I know of is SarahA, this un-ness causes her no end of identity problems as she is entirely unconcerned with her identity, and so is fairly well protected.

leigh tuplin said...

I wonder about your thoughts on Symbolism Tom. For me at least, many of your poems speak of the personal spiritual predicament, whilst reaching far further out..quite unique!

TC said...


Well, I wasn't going to bring this up until you did.

But yes, innocent though one might wish things to have appeared, indeed a certain perhaps devious symbolism is at work here.

These two posts (Flicker and Colony) are adapted extracts from The Spell (original title: Doofus Voodoo), a sort of deranged hillbilly-Arthurian romance set in a benighted zone inhabited by mysterious mutant mechanical animals acting under the control of an ancient order of presiding officials who have cast a spell over the region, thus determining everything in it. Working against these curious administerial forces are the hero, a wandering-eyed and oft-confused ex-footballer hero, and the object of his affections, a roadhouse chanteuse. Butterflies flit through the action like poems through prose, adding a bit of air and mystery. Impending danger looms in the form of ambient toxic clouds... and there I go into the thickets of my symbolism.

The romance is cast in the form of a novel with balladic interpolations and goes on over two hundred pages, so the multivarious action defies simple summation. There are, in case it doesn't go without saying, strong (intended) comic elements.

Yes, a certain amount of spiritual predicament may well have been embedded in the "reeking mud" of the story's curious lacustrine backwater, which in literal geographic terms perhaps comes closest to resembling the American Ozarks in some imaginal time period after industrial spills from unspecified sources have rendered everything a bit strange... well, perhaps I should say a bit stranger.

Malory wrote his tale of the knightly world in jail, so at least there was not a high authorial social standard to be kept up.