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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

"Because they are desiring..."



Because they are desiring,
desirable, mortal, and

death-bearing, persons must,
like in manic 50s

tv gameshow gauntlet,
flee in and out of uncanny

state of strangeness, changing
direction compulsively as

drives are triggered and fade
according to readout of

current surge lapsing
back again into inertia,

momentum sustained
as positive charge that

sparks up red shocks, pulsing
across the calm grey green

display window in constantly
shifting systolic waves

File:Cloud-to-ground lightning stroke - NOAA.jpg

Lightning strike to sea over Miramare di Rimini, Italy: photo by Magica, 2005
Cloud-to-ground lightning strike, Norman, Oklahoma: photo by NOAA Photo Library/National Severe Storms Laboratory, 2005


Lally said...


George Mattingly said...

Lightning strikes: perfect. What we experience as random correlates perfectly what the positive and negative charges. If only we could see them. All said better by you in this poem, Tom.

TC said...

Thanks very much fellows.

George: Yes, of late it seems at times as though we might actually be living at Random... House.

Permapoesis said...

nice pic. but what's the point of copyright again?
and online copyright esp?? seems so oxymoronic.

Zephirine said...

That first photo is one of the weirdest I've ever seen, it looks like the end of the world. Uncanny state of strangeness indeed... I find the poem true but sad, one likes the illusion of moving in a consistent direction, even with some purpose. But we are like bats, flittering.

TC said...


Why copyright? Well, obviously I give my words away for free right here, and it is not uncommon for them to then get picked up and used elsewhere, and I don't even know about it until later, if at all. But in the bizarre yet perhaps imaginable event of somebody taking my words and using them to a wrong purpose, I would like to be able to at least have a little sign on the wall to point to when quietly saying, Please don't do that.


True the poem is sad. Though too I'd hope this lab-rat-like or bat-flapping appearance of random impulse-driven motivelessness in our lives is merely an illusion. In fact, over here there are it seems a great many adult folk who actually believe that "Things happen for a reason", a sentiment one finds touching enough but impossible to find much solid basis for, if one looks round merely a little bit.

A cat who has asked to leave and then to re-enter three times while I worked on this comment would offer evidence that in the natural world it's perfectly normal and ordinary to have no purpose at all beyond that of the moment, so perhaps we should not chastise ourselves, or myself, so, after all. (For not being cats, do I mean?)

About the photo, I find it eerie, and definitely, at least for me, one of those aspect-change illusion images of the family of Professor Jastrow's endessly confusing, and when one thinks of it, probably also endlessly confused, duck/rabbit.

I first thought we were seeing a dramatic electrical-storm display over a military cemetery, mistaking, until well into my ragged little cognitive tango with the image, the parasols and tables of the beach spa for the upright rifles and field monuments of a wartime graveyard. Then it slowly dawned... Oh, my, forty-five years ago I actually slept rough on that beach one night.

TC said...


Excuse me for calling you Perna. (The old eyes are going.)

. said...

Yes! The purpose/reason to me,seems only to quench/follow that moment. I don't mean that in as flippant or hedonistic way as it sounds.In fact your comment about your cat says it much better :)


TC said...


Thank you. I shall take this as reassuring (?).

Not that one has much choice anyway when it comes down to one's basic way of being, still there it is, and as you suggest, we'd perhaps do best to try to just accept it and get on with it.

Carpe diem!

Zephirine said...

"Seize the carp!" - as I've-forgotten-who used to translate it.

Zephirine said...

And yes, I thought it was a military cemetery too.

TC said...


Well, it was near here, as the poet Lucan tells, that the natives of Rimini, caught short, pulled down their rusted armour from the walls, too late to prevent being turned into Caesar's Salad. So military cemetery would have been a plausible historical thought. If we knew where the scene was located. Which we might not have.

Maybe too the fireworks at sea help make us think Hostilities not Holidays with this image.

And as you suggest all is never lost on the Horatian front, where we may yet, like foes of Andrew Marvell's Cromwell-Caesar, cower among diurnal sitcom antiquities with brains sizzled by "three-fork'd lightning" as we Seize the Carp