Before Ever Hearing of Plato (And Frankly Even After)


Before Ever Hearing of Plato (And Frankly Even After)

The time was once upon a
and the place the space
between her bed
and wall, her head
and torso wedged
between box spring and

Can a human being be
the gold ring that is found
in the fish’s belly?
That ring, long lost,
that redeems an all?

The mannerless dust fingered
her nostrils; she sipped the air
as if it were a glass she were forced,
but thrilled, to swallow–

How worried they would be,
if they would
but look for her–
she imagined their alarm,
called it love,

though heard their voices leaf soft
as turning pages down
the hall, the changing of
a channel.

But this is not a poem
about love, there for the looking.
This is a poem about
the love of shadows–how sometimes
all three of your wishes
are to be
the mouth of your own cave–

how pressed against
some wall inside your head,
some time once upon a,
you love that dim,
that flickering,
that dance–how she
certainly did.


A poem, much revised but still, I guess, a draft, for Corey Rowley (Herotomost)’s prompt on With Real Toads to write about something you might think about in a cave.  For some reason I thought of both this scene and Plato’s Cave (from the Republic).  The drawing is mine; all rights reserved for it and poem.  Have a good weekend. 





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16 Comments on “Before Ever Hearing of Plato (And Frankly Even After)”

  1. Mama Zen Says:

    This is flat out incredible writing, K. “She imagined their alarm,
    called it love.” Wow.

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    Such an intriguing portrait developed more often by what is omitted rather than said.

  3. I have a feeling that we prefer the shadows to what’s real sometimes.. Maybe even if we could turn around and see the mouth of the cave we would turn around to shadows and call them love.. Fun that we both selected Plato’s cave – like minds 🙂

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    This starts out with darkness visible and becomes stronger and tighter as it goes, till the final visualization in the dark lights the inner walls. The lines about the mannerless dust and sipping from the forced glass sort of places the central figure as passive, yet is dreaming passive? I often wonder–for me this is the power of imagination over externals, but then my self-education does not include much Plato. ;_) Beautiful, sharply drawn poem, regardless.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. I can’t claim self-education, but I always avoided Philosophy! So, I don’t really know much about Plato, but the Republic. She is really hiding behind the bed–not sure if that’s clear, or if it matters–and there’s certainly a passivity. But that power of imagination is what I was trying to get at. I should have put some process notes re the Plato, but my understanding of it would probably be rather inaccurate in any case. He’s definitely against poets! k.

  5. X Says:

    NIce. At once I want them to come looking for her. To break out of the spell of entertainment. But then again, it is some of the greatest times of thought as our brains get turning. I remember sitting up all night with some friends and theorizing other dimensions. What creative minds we had back then in trying to decipher answers to questions no one else was asking.

  6. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    I loved the concept of this gorgeous poem 🙂
    Beautifully penned..!

  7. Marian Says:

    This describes a scene from my girlhood, aching.

  8. Kim Nelson Says:

    ‘She imagined their alarm, called it love.” Incredible line! And this is one of my favs of your art work.

  9. I found this poem to be so intense and it caused me to think of an infant helpless in a ill-fitted dangerous crib…I know, kind of grim but still and what intrigued me was that the inner voice was that of an older being than an infant but still I saw the infant. Interesting and well written poem.

  10. You turned this one around, didn’t you? By which I mean that you played around with the poem structure, gave it a swirl and came up with a mind-blowing beautiful piece. Thanks, I read it twice. I “feel” it, if you know what I mean. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  11. Herotomost Says:

    Wow!!! This was amazing. That stanza about love and shadows was soooo good. The whole damn thing was soooo good. This was inspired writing, I am super glad you came out to play. That drawing….what can I say you weremt messing around! Thank you!

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