Tall and Medium Tales

Where was I before the mercury rose?

Flamenco for Fragrance91g

The day so dry all I can do is get naked on wet sheets and dive
into a book of fairytales called Floating Down The Sea of Ears.

Tall and medium tales about proteans (shapeshifters) like Leonardo
Da Vinci whose career took many shapes such as he was said to have
a ‘protean career’, and a fairytale within a fairytale about a fraternity

of surrealist poets living in exile on the Island of Writers. Each scribe
has cut off one ear to protest the watering down of freedom of speech.

On the Island of Writers, they argue and rant long into the night. Talking
over each other, their hearing impaired and their thinking short-sighted.

I make several pathetic attempts to shift my attention back from island.
Altered by what I’ve witnessed, it’s too late for my brain. The fixtures
and fittings in my apartment — the sofabed, piano, cable TV, candles,

kitchen table, bathroom scales, door frame, window blinds, security
alarm system and my sheets have become part of me; as my habitat
pulls me under the floorboards and this reader connects to the umbilical
cord of the fraternity.

We argue and rant long into the night.
My blood orange eyes look puzzled beneath
my purple shaded eyelids. Half-open and half-sealed.

I weigh their arguments on my bathroom scales. The scales
crack, snap and pop as the debates rage at arm’s length.

How does this fairytale end? Will I flash upon The End?
My first impression is of a monotone snake coiled inside
a M.C. Escher drawing.

Is that black and white snake, Gaia contemplating us? Are
we mirror cells? Mirroring each other’s cells, or are we not?

Asymmetry?
A symmetry?
A thinner tree?

Are the colors in Escher’s field (of vision) under review?
Who was it that said: “Silence is so accurate, the mind’s imagination can also paralyze.”

In my alternative state I have a theory that the Island of Writers
is the mole people living in the tunnels under New York City.

Our Earth is their stars.

41 thoughts on “Tall and Medium Tales

  1. I love this post– sort of the mind in free fall and not easy to pull off. Am wondering if the image is a painting or a photography of something painted. It says mixed media. In any case, I like it very much– the texture and colors.

    • Thank you for reading and for your kind words. Yes, one takes a slight risk to write like this. I hope I managed to convey something heartfelt by way of the free fall genre! As for the image, it began as an oil painting on canvas. The next step was to photograph the painting and then import the image into Photoshop. Once there, I continued to draw and color the image using digital tools. I hope this answers your question? Peace and blessings, Michele

  2. Fantastic! Where did this come from? What a super poem, I must investigate this island of writers further (but will be sure to be wary of them!). I really enjoyed this, Michele, it was a mesmerizing read (each time!), I look forward to your next masterpiece. Kind regards, keep smiling and keep writing,
    Kieran (Baldy)🙂

    • Kieran (Baldy) thank you so much for your compliments. Your words made my day! So pleased you accepted the invitation to visit the Island of Writers! You asked me a question: “Where does this poem come from?” There are a number of influences including… concern about the erosion of freedom of speech in the UK; my homage to the Surrealists, the Mole People who live in the tunnels under New York City, and how do we manage these lives that we live online. Hope this answers your question? Thank you again and again. Michele

      • Thank you, Michele, it is a lot to think of and I commend your efforts. You clearly have a strong set of core beliefs and are passionate about them. This piece really struck a chord with me, especially the part where we writers curt of our ears and hear less and less of what each other is saying. Now, I appreciate that we shouldn’t always cut open the ball to look for the bounce but some people do ‘skim’ some poems without seeing what lies beneath. I believe not all poetry has hidden meaning and that some of the more honest and stark/blatant pieces are among the best there are, but I do like a thinker and yours was just that. I really enjoyed it and look… I’m still thinking about it, which is a testament to your impressive ability to capture an audience. *hugs* Baldy🙂

      • Great comment! Hugs back to you Baldy! Cannot tell you how much I appreciate your amazing feedback and for reading my lines… and also, for reading above, below and between the lines🙂

  3. Echoes of the hollow earth theory. M.C. Escher is a favorite, next to H.R. Giger, or maybe before or above; haven’t decided.

    Question: “each scribe has cut off one ear to protest the watering down of freedom of speech…” Is that a sincere thought or a random musing? Either way, I concur. We’re afraid to speak our minds these days, and I understand why those who are not do not deign to entertain us waifs of words.

    Very challenging to thought! 🙂

    • Sahm, thank you for reblogging Tall and Medium Tales. Means a lot to me coming from a King with words, such are you! It’s interesting that you picked up on the freedom of speech line because, essentially, that’s the message at the core of the poem. At the heart of my work is a consistent message about social change. Whether this is explicit or not, depends on the medium… but every piece I create comes from that place. Always at top of mind are these words by Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” And thank you for mentioning the hollow earth theory. You’ve given me something else to think about! Thank you and have a beautiful day. Michele

  4. Hi Michele – glad you dropped by so I could return the visit and find your poetry and pictures – I’ll be back to read more, but this poem struck a chord – I may have visited that island myself. Sometimes in spite of being a poet, or maybe because of it I get very tired of words – actually it’s the talk I tire of and the lack of essence – as you pointed out so succinctly- My favorite lines though, slipped their boundaries and touched on the numinous “Is that black and white snake, Gaia contemplating us? Are
    we mirror cells? Mirroring each other’s cells, or are we not?”

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