Monkey Chews






Monkey Chews the Cud
(after Octavio Paz, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Stéphane Mallarmé)

Brilliant in his rising, a new sun shines on monkey’s world,
dispersing darkness, fragmenting it into shadows.

Sunshine and shadow: heads and tails of an age old
combination sealed back-to-back on the self-same coin.

¿Cara o cruz? Heads or tails? Sunshine or shadow?

Solombra, perhaps? Or is it just the act of perception,
as Wittgenstein would have us believe, and nothing more:
the metal always spinning on its milled edge, never falling,
the coin on its axis, a new day with its potential,
sunshine or shadow, thrown dice still skittering,
a new world imperceptibly poised in its own making?

Monkey scratches his head. Such enormous depths
are not for him to plumb, this early in the morning.

Better by far the banana peeled, the fresh skin thrown
away for someone else to slip on, and monkey
sitting there in silence, chewing his morning cud.


15 thoughts on “Monkey Chews

  1. Solumbra! I love it! In my Equiinox limerick last week I used the term solar terminator which refers to that precise point where day turns to night in the turn of the globe. Two exact halves at the time of equinox. Daylight or shadow, what can we see, what is shadowed. I’ve been thinking too deeply about this existential stuff lately. My brain is starting to hurt! I feel like Monkey some mornings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Had one myself this morning, Tanya. Went to bed late last night after the VP debate and got up at 4:00 am to get Clare to the early flight for Thanksgiving in Ottawa. I’m paying for it now. I’ll post the first poem from my new series In Absentia. It’s still very rough, barely 24 hours old. There are more on the way. Solombra, incidentally, is sol (sun) plus ombra (shade) to give a new word: sunshine-and-shade, the exact point where light and dark meet and each is the other. The metal spinning on its edge is from Mallarmé: “Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard” a throw of the dice will never eliminate chance. The same with the toss of a coin if it spins on its edge at the junction of sun-and-shade and never falls with one side up. Oh dear: a monkey’s life is so intellectually exhausting!

      Liked by 1 person

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