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I originally wrote this poem in the 80’s. I felt a rework was in order and wanted to publish it to celebrate the Academy Awards which will be handed out tonight…because films aren’t simply for entertainment.

Gargantuan Eyes

Gargantuan Eyes

Music…Poetry…Film…Prose…

Through their essence, by their essence, they are complete.

Alone, each narrows, contracts and envelopes me.

With tunnel vision I feel their power and consume their infinite potential as my own.

They cast off my cover. They force me to climb outside my Self.

Each note, each line, each scene, every word — distinct — but invisibly bound in purpose.

And so, they enrapture me. They amplify my life.

These are eyes of gargantuan scope.

Music lights halls dark with blindness.

Poetry sounds drums in deaf ears.

Colors on canvas carve highways through mountains,

Prose and Screen unlock doors to unknown worlds.

I swallow them whole.

Each is self-existent.

I wear their pasts like a cloak, their futures a mask.

I savor their essence and drink in their lies.

They renew my life for a short time.

But steadily I grow.

Stretching. Distilling. Transcending. Fulfilling.

In dialectic ascension I’m full, running empty.

These gargantuan eyes are my risks, my dreams.

The keys to my jail.

Paul Turney
February 24, 2013

-30-

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This poem is just for fun. Kinda juvenile. Sorry. I banged it out in the ’80’s on a Vendex Head Start computer, my first. It had no hard drive, just two floppy disk slots, one for the program I would be working in and the other to use as the tabula rasa. At any rate, I don’t know whether the “F” keys still do the same thing on current computers.

•••

Old Computer

When words all melt together, “Find the cursor!” laughs the screen.

But when they’re helter skelter, disc error‘s what they mean.

They continually defy me, make me delve into “the Book”.

Dictators, they deprive me, but let’s take another look.

F2 will justify them, “Flush Right!” the sergeant screams.

F6 promises to hide them, but F8 wakes them from their dreams.

Arrows send them hiking onward and can call them back in line.

Page Up lures them to the barracks, Page Down drags them back, quick time.

Cap Lock stands them at attention, Scroll Lock makes them dance a reel.

Num Lock transforms their essence, Ctrl can bend their will.

Shift will make them sit or stand. Print Screen can make them tell.

And if they give me trouble, I’ll Delete them all to Hell!

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Silver Threads

Silver Threads was written for the same creative writing class I mentioned in De Baiting Game but it was also three years into the many Philosophy classes I had been taking. Many delved into religion, and Philosophy, right from Intro101, shook my very foundations. I emerged with this new world view and hautily thought that I was the first to come up
with it. Ha!

So why write poetry? You do it for yourself. It’s an outlet for all that passion, good and evil, that builds up every once in a while.

Silver Threads – by Paul Turney  March 18, 1989

Struck down in the midst of youthful wandering

by the realization — I’ve been squandering

the gifts so subtly placed beneath my feet.

That years wasted in delusion,

Spirit strangling in occlusion

Were all part of the illusion so replete.

Early images conjured up laugh at my pathetic grin,

Sardonic wrinkles the platform on which they stand.

Knowing well I’m on the outside, forever looking in,

Ironically echoing the question, “Ain’t life grand?”

Now, standing at the crossroads and facing my obsession

With the truth and all the rancor that implies.

Can I be sated with depression

And the odd past-life regression?

Should I choose the easy path to my demise?

Or, should I venture out and boldly hunt the Reason

Behind the galaxies … and for my finite being?

For methodic, yet chaotic, is this season

Of realities. What is it that I am really seeing?

I think I’ll search within myself, hoping there to find

Silver threads conjoining each and every soul.

In silent song, the blissful Om, the One omniscient mind

In timelessness, one focus, just one goal.

Should I find this silver cord, will darkness turn to light?

Will voices rise to welcome me? Will I regain my sight?

Will my quintessential essence reveal that all’s not lost?

Or must I forfeit precious gifts?

No gain without some costs?

My Ego battles Karma now, creating this confusion

But I can see, the wool’s removed, and so is the delusion

It has taken all of forty years to find the starting gate

But now I know I’ll join the race, my fears will dissipate.

And should I get lost along the way,

as I have done before

I’ll have silver threads to pull me back

To set me straight once more.

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De Baiting Game

I finally enrolled in University in my very late 30’s and it wasn’t until my graduating year (1989) in a Creative Writing class, that I found out I loved writing poetry. But it was axiomatic that creation required passion. I wrote De Baiting Game while my first born daughter Keri-Lynn Janis (after Janis Joplin — “thanks a lot, dad” she told me after reading about the 60’s songbird) and I were arguing about what I can’t remember. What I realized about the two of us while writing the poem, was that we were very much alike.

De Baiting Game – Paul Turney March 1989

Take one headstrong young adult

Add one parent, much the same

Toss in some silly issue

And you have de Baiting game.

To start, youngster regurgitates

Some “truth” she’s learned of late

From someone in her high school class

An acquaintance, or a date.

She throws it out in front of you

Then waits with bated breath

For her wise old dad’s opinion,

It will come as sure as death.

She knows that he will disagree

But she baits him anyway

She’s not prepared to listen

She just wants him to play.

He argues from experience

Though he knows he cannot win

If he throws enough against the wall

Just once, it might sink in.

Her “theory”, as oft as not

Will be essentially inane

But that’s the bait that’s needed

To begin de Baiting Game.

“I didn’t ask for your advice!”

She baits dad once again

“It’s not advice but simple truth,”

To deaf ears, this refrain.

The evidence that backs his case

Is daddy’s last resort

She baits him with “You’re playing God”

(The ultimate retort.)

He won’t tell her she’s ignorant

(The “prophecy”, he fears)

It could be self-fulfilling

And would surely lead to tears.

And so he’ll wait with bated breath

‘Til she admits her theory’s lame

Or ‘til she becomes a politician

Getting paid to play de Game.

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