Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision
I had tunnel vision on state highway eight–six
Dunedin to Crowntown,
town of dignitaries,
fancies for the Queen.
Black-jawed mountains welcomed a sojourner
who couldn’t see them—
even though they echoed louder than a stomach and a kiss
—despite a perfect silhouette.
Funny -Ha-Ha that a man such as I,
smitten constantly (insipidly inspired)
by natures beauty,
might dismiss a crown of Remarkable fortune and grace;
For, a smooth one–ten stick-shift
passing a slow inferior species
high on his way for Holy days of holidays.
Even the thick cicadan cemetery,
river washed (thank God)
from the wind-screen-window,
had more charity for the ‘one love’ that smiled to greet me,
at the cliff-end
|| book-end ||
finish of the drive.
I determined to focus on a passage ‘fast and safe’,
while the ocean-deep beauty of Central Otago
passed (merrily) a dreamer by.
Oh, that my heart
were a kaleidoscope in dimension,
to reflect all the colours of this world.
Then, I would stencil those silhouette peaks
into my memory,
and welcome my love
with the open throat cry of the
free-form falcon returning
to      its
I sat down to write a nesting narrative called,
“Only the clever survive,”
it was willfully silly and tastelessly burgeoning;
So, I reached out to drain the last of my sun-drenched beer glass,
and finished painting the iris framed mountainside
the heavenly hue.
© Iain Sutherland, 2013.

13 thoughts on “Tunnel Vision

  1. I love everything about this brilliant poem! The rhyme, the visual imagery your words conjure up in the mind, the first person narration and the references to the beautiful, majestic land where you live! Well done 🙂

    • Wow, excellent! Thanks for reading and telling me how you interacted with it. I was really happy with this one after I wrote it. It signaled my first break from syllabic poetry for sometime. It was nice not to be confined to eight syllables per line etc..

      • Oh my, I had no idea that you had been restricting yourself before, you should just write what you want in any way you want. The beauty of poetry today is that very few read it and even fewer understand or know structural variations, types, or pretty much anything that used to make poetry poetry!

      • Very true, although I think I set it for myself. I notice the slight change in rhythm when I’m missing a couple of syllables, or the emphasis is in the wrong place. I never used to write like that, but since studying poetry at university I’m more aware i guess. I have to keep telling myself it’s okay to break the patterns–something I consciously work to achieve, especially when it comes to cliches. You’re right though, the poetry today is virtually limitless!

      • Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely something to be said when someone can still express complex emotions so brilliantly within a given structure such as a sonnet or a quatrain but relaxing or ignoring established structures and rules has opened the door for so many people to express themselves through poetry who had previously been intimidated by its rigid rules!

      • Indeed, indeed, this part we inherit from our modernist reformers such as Pound, Ginsberg, and Eliot. They were willing to break away from these conventions of form, meter, and rhyme. I’m not saying everyone should write like I do, but I like playing with the balance between free verse, and traditional forms even though free verse comes most naturally to me.

        I love that the writer has the power bring what is not into being. We are not restrained to a conventional “one-size” but our subjectivity is our strength. We hold the power to write worlds into existence, to change history, to paint grand visions of the future, and we will not be bound by literary conventions trying to bring our imagination’s to life. Instead we must trade in stories, and think only of how they might be embraced by our readers.

        something like that hahah.

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