The thing that’s killing me
is that which first caught my ancestor’s eye.
Until then, I was content to roam the far horizon,

to be that quivering digit in the African plain,
strolling and musing, simply taking my time
when it didn’t matter; crouching at pools,

fishing for food, picking up things which lay around.
You could say it was like a kind of Eden,
for which I didn’t care or mistrust.

But then one day – I can’t recall exactly when –
something sparked, like a piece of flint in the sun;
sharp, fetching blood and an idea.

The rest you know in its outlines;
when the shaping of some tool
turned the wise one into a fool.

*Taken from poetry collection ‘anonymous lines’



20 thoughts on “Distraction

  1. “the rest you know in its outlines ..” Wonderful words as always. Want to add you to my blogroll (usually just do) but thought I better check if it’s okay with you 🙂 Let me know. Pam


  2. ‘when the shaping of some tool turned the wise one into a fool’…yes, I’ll have to think about that line. I like the reflective nature of this piece, it’s got a wonderful atmosphere. I do enjoy how you pair your poetry with your paintings, which are lovely (did I already say that?).


  3. Hi Emma and thank you!
    I guess this one started off about lost innocence, how ‘man’ has been fighting ever since he shaped the first tool, which should be for his benefit but which, more often than not, isn’t.
    You may have mentioned the paintings before but I don’t mind if you say it again! I’m grateful for any comment!


  4. This painting is just sublime, especially for me today. I have tried about 8 times to get your “follow” button to accept my email address (which I was just using!) and to get the “like” button to accept my wordpress sign in. Do I have to register here and get a different sign in. Anyway, I will do that after telling you I especially enjoyed the connections through between “that which caught my ancestor’s eye” and the tool-forming that turned this one into a fool! Excellent development and self-discovery versified here!


  5. Sublime painting. Very effective and insightful connective verses between the opening where something was seen that had caught the ancestor’s eye and the ending where the toolmaker made himself into a fool thereby. I am so glad you tweeted me about this post. It also took a while to get the wordpress site pulled up correctly and get it to recognize me. Hope you will visit me at http://granbee.wordpress.com. I would welcome most gratefully and all feedback you wish to offer there.


  6. You are a magnificent story teller, David.

    “to be that quivering digit in the African plain”…those words paint as evocatively as your paint brush does.


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