Tuesday, January 29, 2013

They Say

They say that if a tree

in a vast forest untouched by human sight, if this tree falls unseen, it doesn’t

fall at all, for only our eyes, our ears, our sensed attendance

permit event.

They say (they, not I; I am alone the weary messenger of ancient news)

 there are really no colors,

that color exists only in the brain, where it connects

to something in the eye, creating the illusion of

red or green or golden yellow. They say (do not blame me, I repeat, only and ever).

they say that when you slowly unbutton your lover’s

blue shirt, when he kisses your flesh-brown fingers, that there is no blue,

no brown ( and would this matter to you, to your lover,

shivering into white-absent nakedness?)

But might it be, I ask (my message spoken) that in that inhuman forest,

a thousand other sentient creatures, large and tiny,

rivers and fireflies, one-celled insects too small to name,

perceive the tree’s falling as precise as any arithmetic,

that a cacophony of silent cries

attends the ground-bruising collapse?

Or that the illusion the brain creates is the absence of color,

the only truth then the color itself,

the lover’s flesh brown fingers reaching the

last button, the blue shirt falling to the gray floor,

the sea-watcher’s grasp of white foam

melting into green sea?

These, mind you, are only questions,

the questions of the messenger of ancient news,

The messenger who knows nothing

but the stories that must be told, over and over,

though different every time.


Riemer Frielink said...

Riemer says - Are we an illusion if others can't see us? -

Tom Schott said...

This is very nice, Karen.