Day and Naught

day, night, black, light

zebra bands of revolving opposites

light: where we offer our admiration to each other
dark: where we hide our opinions of each other

flashing white smiles, coveting dark thoughts

Janus-faced, Dorian Gray, the split personality

the world of relations: is a strobed text
the world of relations: cannot be decoded

opposites rest on each other, one revealed
the other hidden

our proclamations of support, joy
in the bright, sunny, funny ways
we notate our responses to each other
don’t reflect the reality

of the jumbled human mind

Response to Big Tent Poetry’s prompt (where other entries are linked in the comments).


About Brenda Clews

poet, painter, videopoet, editor blogs at Rubies in Crystal: art website: videopoems:
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6 Responses to Day and Naught

  1. Tumblewords says:

    Ah, yes, the truth is loose.

    • Brenda Clews says:

      I’ve had a hard week, Tumblewords… this poem, despite being begun as a meditation on opposites, insisted on working through the issues I’ve been having such difficulty with. Sigh. Oh, sigh. Poetry! How our poems speak our deeper struggles. They have voices of their own, sometimes I think. Thanks!

      • Deb says:

        Yes, those poems do. Two-edged sword, speaking of more duality. There are some wonderful images & words that I am struck by, especially this stanza:

        “the world of relations: is a strobed text
        the world of relations: cannot be decoded”

        The word strobe works to bring not only the pairing of light/dark but intense energy … the awareness that some things cannot be decoded is a different sort of energy — not quite resignation, but something more.

        A rich, complicated work, worthy of the topic.

  2. Brenda Clews says:

    Perhaps this morning as I shifted the poem away from its previous abstractions it found its emotional centre (that I spoke of as absent in the note to you, Deb, on Facebook).

    A difficult venture, this prompt. At first I resisted it -I tried but couldn’t write humour like Life & Hat, but then thought, oh, a philosophical meditation, why yes!- but it was full of abstrations, obtuse theory, etc.

    Each poem needs an emotional centre, of this I am convinced. The emotional centre, whatever it is, even chaotic, gives the poem a cohesion, and meaning.

    Learning how to allow this, even with difficult material, the difficulties I’ve faced recently, has been an enormous something -lesson? personal achievement more like it.

    Thanks, Deb… I appreciate your serious reading very much.

  3. 1sojournal says:

    I find the ‘heart’ of your poem in this line:
    zebra bands of revolving opposites
    under those black and white bands, those constant dichotomies, beats the heart of a living creature. And I agree that it is a difficult task to live at that core of black and white. And the poet has an even harder task because she must find that heart, again and again, carve it and then serve it up to others who may or may not have beating hearts they are aware of.


  4. vivinfrance says:

    The poem reflects the eternal dichotomy when trying to understand this life. It is very subtle. I sympathise in the struggle you had and thank you for posting the result.

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