Sunday, 4 October 2009

Poem for the day - Lost Memories

I think I'm becoming a serial, obsessive blogger. This is my eighth post today. (Do please read back and glance at the others!)

A few days back I gave you a poem of mine from 1972. Here's one from February this year:


When I was born, what did I first see
Once the blood had been wiped away from me?
How long did it take to understand
That this was my foot, and that was my hand?
At what point did I recognise pleasure and pain,
And learn that I had a particular name?
These earliest moments have been pushed out of reach,
Like the sea smears footprints from a beach.
In the tide of memory, ebbing and flowing,
How can one recall the events beyond knowing?
And when I die, will the eye of my brain
Watch these scenes from my life
Swirl down a drain?

I know, I know, babies see and recognise other things first. And it's not a great poem anyway. But I think it says something about recalling events.

Incidentally the 'swirling down the drain' idea came from a Rock Hudson film I once saw, in which a very dull middle-aged family man gets his mind 'transplanted' into a much younger man's body. He's after a swinging time, but finds that he's stuck with his dull, dull, can't-party personality. So it doesn't work, even though there is one girl who wants him. But he can't 'let go' and enjoy her zest for living.

He goes back to the oh-so-discreet mind-transplant corporation and asks for his old body back. No can do; and they're worried about his dissatisfaction, and what might happen if he kills himself, or blows the gaff - acquiring bodies for mind-swaps being presumably illegal. So they kill him on an operating table. As he dies, his final memories swirl away to a singularity, rather like being sucked into a Black Hole - you know - and the very last memory is not of the family he left behind, but that girl, and the slight moment of pleasure he had before being middle-aged and boring about kissing her.

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