Constructing Meaning

A man curled in his despondency, rocking on his back,
sees a clown leering in the clouds;
another, dreaming his success and loosely splayed on the grass,
glimpses a white stallion dancing in the same clouds.

A woman with hooded eyes and grubby hands
perceives a tale in the tea-leaves to match her prey;
a girl attends to the misty words of the fortune-teller
and attains a life to fit.

They’re selling belief at the placebo shop,
I’ll take one bottle please;
cognitive dissonance is nothing to sneeze at,
I’ll pay to have it removed?

1.ย A mother, professor and magician
2.ย die in annus horribilis;
3.ย do bad things come in threes?

The eyes in the painting
are following me around the room.

Blood seeps around the edges
of a whitewashed history;
and we stand on the sidelines, applauding Ned Kelly,
and gangs of trigger-happy, rampaging bushrangers,

after all, the convict is Australian royalty.
The adopted son searches for his identity.

The psychiatrist rolls out the inkblots
and the patient constructs the meaning.

20 thoughts on “Constructing Meaning

  1. yes. meaning comes
    from that which
    we give meaning to
    – curious creatures
    that we are.
    …curious not as in
    we wonder
    but in our oddity
    and oddities.
    to exist.
    so do we choose?
    or are we following?
    sadness or glee.
    in these grains of sand
    between my toes
    a poem of wonderings
    and ponderation

    i dont know if that is an appropriate comment or not? i hope you dont mind my thinking response out loud on the keyboard. aloha just the same.

    • I don’t mind at all, in fact that is the whole point of my blog – to incite ponderations ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are curious creatures and personally I love the way we create our own meaning from things (even if we are sometimes wrong – does it matter – the meaning creates its own reality and many benefits can come from that – if an erroneous belief can cure an illness, than believe away, because the belief is creating a real thing, a positive energy in the body.) Aloha back at you Rick ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You’ve put up a bunch of dots, drawn a from one to the other and the result is a picture of humanity as being more banal and weak than is comfortable to view. Oh, I do like this one Gabrielle, very very much!

  3. “Theyโ€™re selling belief at the placebo shop,
    Iโ€™ll take one bottle please”

    ha! I’ll take a bottle too… make it two. =)

    Liked those lines… and am glad to have stumbled in here.. I enjoyed this…

    and, I like frogs… so… ? yeah… nice blog! =)

  4. “adopted son searches for his identity” – how true for the true-blues but even more so for us new-blues! :-). And, yes, I wish I subscribed to the balms of the placebo shop, instead of the blood seeping around the edges…so much in there, Gabrielle

    • It depends on the poem Ben – some have come out with little editing, but generally I am constantly changing words and rearranging stuff (even after I post them I often change words as I reread the poem – and if I send a poem out to get published I always edit). However most of the ideas are already cooked in my brain – long before the words hit the page – things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

  5. Out out damned inkblot. I got myself in a lot of trouble in my 20s for being a smartarse during an inkblot test. They could look like omens of the impending apocalypse, couldn’t they? Moral of the story – always remember that most shrinks don’t have a sense of humour. Or of irony.

    I really like this poem because it highlights how meaning is so open to interpretation and that is what creates life’s rich pageant. Good one!

    • Haha – I’m not a big fan of the inkblot test and can just imagine the sort of things you would come up with Selma ๐Ÿ˜‰ Interpretation of meaning is one of those wonderful human qualities I think – life would be very boring if we all just stuck with facts and figures, that’s for sure, and no-one can ever be sure of the truth, anyway.

    • Haha – plastic surgery for poems – yes, too much editing takes the freshness away from the poem I think. Thanks for stopping by qazse – and of course you know the magician is our friend Mr Squires ๐Ÿ™‚

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