‘If you are old, then I must be prehistoric.‘
– Quote by my grandmother, Erna Tormanis (04.10.24-25.09.2014)
It’s breakfast time
in my time
that means poetry and a quiet cup of tea
and my mind’s gradual opening:
Last night, I travelled to Australia in my dreams
alighting on strange lands
I’ve never seen or
haven’t yet to see.
‘Time is a jet plane
it moves too fast – ’
too many I’ve loved already
in the past:
That’s not what love is.
At school I studied history,
at university the history
all those kings and queens
and poets trying to unravel the mystery of life.
One level deeper: Archaeology
how many Troys were there at the final count?
maybe eight or nine
and how ironic then
that Schliemann bulldozed the closest candidate for ‘Homer’s Troy.’
How many times was the Labyrinth at Knossos rebuilt
and which final palace was the final place, the one
which became fixed in
I’m no palaeontologist but I could long
love to be washed up on those shores:
Jurassic Coast, border
trilobite and ammonite
for sure a poet gave this science its names.
Then we reach out into the universe and
we’re through the looking glass:
looking down the rabbit hole
the black hole
or could it be a wormhole to
a parallel dimension?
And what is our role in this
we writers, dancing to the tune of eons?
At its best, poetry
vibrates with a universal frequency
which some have called ‘the music of the spheres:’
The poet’s in tune with the timeless
in all this tangled web of time
which passes all but unheard
faintly falling on deaf universal ears.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for Earthweal
For this week’s Weekly Challenge, Brendan has asked us to do the following:
Let’s see what happens when we focus our poetic eyes on the presence of deep time:
- What places have you experienced deep time —walking a beach or through a primeval forest, beholding a hawk’s eye or restful centuries in a cemetery?
- How does the perpetual exist with the fleeting, the dead among the living, the first traces of existence weaving like smoke around our ruins of time?
- Observe places in which time is inverted, a life becomes aeons and forever exhales in gasp. Irish heroes journeyed into the sidhe for three days and three night and returned centuries later. A psychologist once told me that deep work achieves much in a few moments. Dreams shake the glass so the grains flow in multiple timescales. A first kiss lasts forever. Describe a moment of deep time. (And there are many scales for deep time – geologic, glacial, human, poem.)
- Why is poetry so apt for holding deep time in its tiny chalice?
The Featured Image is a photograph of the ruins of Troy, which Heinrich Schliemann famously (or infamously) excavated in search of the Homeric citadel. In search of glory he erased the very thing he was looking for, keen to get down to the deepest layers of the site, convinced that Homer’s Ilium was to be found there. Archaeologists have identified 9 ‘layers’ of different periods of habitation: the one matching the period of the Homeric epics is most likely Troy VII, and much of the archaeological evidence for this layer was destroyed in Schliemann’s fervent ‘race to the bottom.’ One of the many ironies of history.