A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Today I travelled deep inside my head
Where thoughts cavort and play:
Mind-creatures, you might say.

The enigmatic cat
Kept her thoughts to herself,
But the servile dog,
Ever eager to please,
Pretended my thoughts were his thoughts.

The zebra thought in black and white
And the hippopotamus
In different shades of grey.

The ostrich tried to bury her thoughts in the sand,
While the flamingo meditated on one leg like a yogi.

The sloth and slug had sluggish thoughts,
The moth and bug had buggish thoughts,
And the rottweiler and pit bull terrier had, well, thuggish thoughts.

The cow's thoughts always ruminative,
The glow-worm's quite illuminative.

The giraffe's thoughts high and elevated,
The chimpanzee's sophisticated.

The eagle's thoughts were bold and soaring,
But the wild boar's thoughts were, frankly, boring.

The owl had very wise thoughts,
The chameleon disguised thoughts.

The rabbit had only one thing on his mind,
And that was to replicate more of his kind.

The March hare had mad thoughts,
And the wolf big, bad thoughts.

The elephant pondered a life of longevity,
But the mayfly one of brevity.

The raven had thoughts of death and dying,
While the lemming went over the edge without even trying.

Later I herded up my thoughts
And caged the whole menagerie,
But they escaped into the vortex
Of the cerebral cortex.

And now I have no thoughts at all.

So tomorrow I will explore the heart.
A dangerous terrain. I have no chart.
A place where great white sharks patrol an ocean
Of submerged feelings and drowned emotion.

I must admit, I'm quite pleased how this one has turned out. Am I allowed to say that?

(Posted from A Gudiña, on the Camino Sanabrés, Spain.)


gleaner said...

I love it !!!!

This is so delightful and very clever - I could see it published, like as a children's book (the type that are loved by adults eg: Kenneth Grahame, Lewis Carroll).

Anonymous said...

I have to say I totally agree w/Gleaner!! New job when you arrive home perhaps??? Karin

The Solitary Walker said...

Mmm... A children´s book... Now that's an idea... Any illustrators out there?

Tim Shey said...

Yes, you are allowed to say that.

Very clever and brilliant use of words. Very good poem. You are a wordsmith.

"California of your nightmares. Big Sur of your dreams. Fire out of Kansas. Wheatfields and golden landscapes and dry air and blue sky and. Words, ink on paper, meter and fire. The anvil and the hammer and the fireblood of a wounded heart. Laceration and pain. Fire. The wordsmith labors and sweats and bleeds and brings forth new life. Anvil and hammer. The hot steel is shaped. Blow after blow. Sparks fly in the hot and dry air of Kansas."

--excerpt from "High Plains Drifter" by Tim Shey
Ethos Magazine, May 1995

(I hope you don't mind me quoting some of my own writing)