Monday, March 17, 2014

Just Seeing

©  Steve King
All rights reserved

When I peer into my eyes
the world is looking back-wards:
just reflection,
no perspective view
to shape all things
convergent to a one.

When I look into my eyes
mirrors within mirror
some unreachable other
signals back the flip side of my meanings,
hovering just beneath the gloss,
caught in near reality
that shall never truly come to pass.

Lost in a mirage of seeing,
faces that may never look beyond;
I cannot fathom what the mirror knows
I cannot wonder from behind the glass,
can never hope to find myself by looking,
the way that I would gladly spy
a misplaced wallet
or a ring of keys.

Playing the charade,
I turn quickly from the frame
before the other knows to look away,
and leave that presence lingering,
captive in a growing horde
of disappointed shades
til I shall try again
to find that certain vision,
still wondering in those uncertain moments
why nothing of that kind comes ready made.

A new poem for Imaginary Gardens...


  1. why is that? i like this reflection, a chance to pause and ponder. very nice.

  2. great work, Steve! good to see you here :) xo


  3. I'm not often given to looking into my eyes - the idea is frightening to me. I'm far from deciphering my mystery and I do appreciate you being friends with your inside. <3

  4. Couldn't quite see it in the guise of a Constanza but it is an exceptional poem. Love the flow of thought and observations.The way the mirror image becomes its own being, stirs dis-ease and the thought could make one uncomfortable with this half-reality.

    1. Hi Jo-hanna,
      I had just intended this as a response to the open link, not a Constanza. Thanks much for the generous comment.
      Steve K.

  5. Seems like we're both instructed and fooled by our senses, especially what we see, which perforce inverts and goes upside down beaming from one eye into the opposite lobe of the brain. Tricky stuff ... Egyptians believed the Otherworld was upside down and backwards from this one, a sort of Bizarro World perspective that, like dreams, was hauntingly close to but irretrievably far from this one. Then there is the mind's eye which sees what the naked eye cannot, and sometimes blurs the vision trying to see what it believes. Somehow the poem has to make sense of all that, find a middle way. Nice job, Steve.

  6. Such a haunting quality to this piece--and maybe to the way we see ourselves or look away--thoughty piece for me--and I tend to like them that way

  7. We often look at our features and not into our eyes - this is an interesting take as to why and what might happen if we did.

  8. Mirrors and masks are always fascinating, I think--and what they reveal or conceal says a great deal about our personal reality(the one we only show ourselves, the one we never show ourselves) I love the way this almost seems to waver, like a mirror image in flickering light, as reflections both physical and mental change the viewing. My favorite lines:
    "... I cannot fathom what the mirror knows —
    I cannot wonder from behind the glass,
    can never hope to find myself by looking.."

  9. Hey Steve--I love the idea of getting the "flip" side of one's meanings-- though of course, one too often gets those--

    The cleverness of looking back- and looking backwards is very striking, and the whole otherness of that being before ourselves--

    there are also so many near double meanings and shades of meaning --I especially like the inability to wonder from behind the glass, which is like the inability to wander away from it--and the shades which are like ghosts but also the darker part of one's selves--or if not darker--those shadowy selves that we cannot quite grasp--as always very elegantly and beautifully rendered. k.

  10. This is extremely cool - an arresting thought that the image in the mirror remains behind......."and leave that presence lingering". Very cool write!

  11. This is a wonderful look at the reality of ourselves, and how painful and fascinating that observation can be.

    Love these lines: "captive in a growing horde
    of disappointed shades—"

    The whole last stanza really brought it all home perfectly.