Posts Tagged ‘self’

solo anagram

solo anagram

admitting some surprise.
an unpleasant awakening.
an embarrassment perhaps?

no warning.  none at all.
expectations, quite something else.

a fair enough image painted on
a wall of thought.  you look.  you see
a reasoned landscape, edges
blended smooth.

we emboss, we sketch a given name.

you read their words.  well confirmed
of shape.  texture too.  tempered by
experience.  a breathing wind.

forecasted fair and clear, expectations.
good hair.  slender built.  likewise,
same face, same eyes.  studied hands.

shadow puppet play on a mosaic wall,
broken thoughts we attend to mend.

suppose we’re soon accustomed after
birth, to see what we see.  how a story
begins.  chapters grow from measured

we play along.  fact and fiction strummed.
made to fit.  what we don’t ask matters
as much.

what then when the mirror speaks?
a voice rendered as a nail does.

who’s this pretender tearing groomed
meanings aside?  what my ear does not
and does recognize!  my own voice in
my ear, playing back to me.

years of careful architecture undone.
any other ear can hear.

even words restrained close to the chest
say aloud.  there’s more than seen of me.

I speak with the voice of a stranger inside.
yet recognize meanings implied.

word of mouth.  (even lies reveal truth)


neil reid © january 2013

Well, an interesting prompt. However, at first glance, nothing at all comes to mind. So why not then alter the formula a bit? I found another “other” that I might notice – my own self (if you hadn’t already realized). And (spoiler alert as they say) that other, more specifically, was myself hearing my own voice for the first time in life from a recording outside of my own real-time voice. Something of a shock, as for many folks I’m told.

Being rather shy, and with reasons why, I had over years “presented” an acceptable image of myself to others, as well to myself. Hearing “that” voice was both hearing a stranger speak and in the same moment hearing what was within and under the voice, aspects of me I was not so keen to reveal.

How well does this poem accomplish that dual recognition? I’ve reworked it now three times. While better expressed than the initial draft I still think it falls some short of what I’d hoped for it to do. But as it is, time enough for now.

(Poems is hard.) (huh!) (but interesting)

Written for the We Write Poems prompt #139,  A Moment Unexpected.  As you come unnoticed upon a person you well know, describe the physical elements and your emotional response.

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Circling Mount Kailash, i.

Circling Mount Kailash


I have always imagined myself a childless man.
A man without any enduring consequence beyond myself.

Just myself. Just one man. My best, my worst.
My singular joys. My singular sorrows.

What matter if one day, no dawn?
Surely my cares would wash away.

Honestly, I always imagined myself alone.
If another, more like a cereal box illustration than real.

And if painting the room is unfinished, what difference?
No wife, not even a cat, so who’s to care, including me.

Might not wear that like a flag, nor any pride.
Yet scratch aside the sand and there’s one mask.

So am I honed of that mask or bare, one face?
And poems aren’t writ for art, but for sake of

a genuine life, a better heart. First step.

You’ll know when it reaches you.

neil reid © september 2010

Circling Mount Kailash. Just a distant second-hand participant. This high climb even to approach. The reality of that would likely be the end of me. However, listening here, my life is yet real enough, this part I’ll keep for now. More of where and why I’ll leave for another time, another page, and now mostly the words of a poem will begin. Only slight to say that looking near the face of god, truth becomes inevitable. One circle begins.

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True nature

True nature

The true nature of a thing is in everything

you don’t see of it.

Describe the shapes of invisible air.

Clouds try. But that’s just cool & warm & wet.

Show me instead how air defines a face, or

the shade of autumn’s dawn.

Don’t tell me about a favorite movie or

episode on TV, nor what car you drive.

Step outside that constructed room.

Tell me what you see when your eyes

are closed. Tell me what’s beneath mere

thoughts when you touch a face.

We’ll start out easily.

Tell me about the first breath of air

when you awoke today. Tell me about

who you sat with at table for a meal.

Leave off even what they said and what

you said. Tell me what their eyes spoke

to you. Tell me how your hand moves

when you are close to them.

Tell me about the meal you ate for

lunch today. That one! Did you use

a fork or spoon? Where is the napkin

you used then now? Mine was

a bacon & lettuce & tomato sandwich

on wheat and warm. Wrapped

in yellow paper, handed me.

Tell me about the towel you used

to dry yourself after washing today.

What color, what scent? Did you hold

it gently to your face, or brusk?

Be intimate with yourself.

Tell me every thought when you

dance across a room close to me.

No editing!

Describe a kiss to me without

using your lips.

Neil Reid © January 2010

version 2, 2010.02, edit last line

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Nothing much

Nothing much

About some light

poem group index

Nothing has ever been lost, only moved.

One life will scatter on wind, far of flight

away, yet remains like a thread and knit.

Fog may narrow a distant mountain eye

so then our hands and feet become the sky.

One breath, even one that’s last is only

more wind somewhere else than here.

Outside the window, another world we think,

but walls are only sand and wood.

Memories like leaves adrift, out of touch?

Yet observe, all express a singular self.

(And this don’t mean you, any you.)

Step by step, seems some distant reach,

yet you remain, just inside each stride.

Nothing has been broken yet, that wasn’t

as mosaic, meant to be gathered whole.

Nothing has ever been lost, only given

into other hands.

Neil Reid © January 2010

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