Through the mirror,
there on the other side
where this world’s reversed,
ripples compress inwards
from the edge of the universe.

I would sail in
from some wasteland quest;
a conqueror beyond the frame
with trophies of vanquished monsters,
gliding in silver to that vanishing core.

The journey yields wonders,
words soaked in music,
a music of experience.
Lyrics unleash meaning
and I would sing them

as I approach center there.
Then, I’d shrink to the start,
no larger than an atom,
no larger than a quark
to the idea before the spark.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved


© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

59 thoughts on “REVERSED

    • Thank you. I have almost always been fascinated by toys who come awake at night, and the reverse reality that lies on the other side of the looking glass. I never thought it was as well developed by Lewis Carroll as I wanted it to be.

  1. there’s so much music in this poem gay..singing the lyrics that unleash meaning…i want to sing along cause by the time i get there i have picked up the beat of this and i’m soaked in your words…and i want, i want badly sing of the wonders you’re talking about…approaching the center…but then you pull me back…and i’m getting desperate…i open my mouth and there’s nothing but silence…and an idea before the spark…so please could you take me back to the center….? excellent gay!!

    • Sometimes I believe I write my poems just for you Claudia. For me the energy manifests itself (always) in music. I love singing for you. Exploring the other side, time moving in the opposite direction, living in reverse. Dictions…and contradictions.

    • Thanks Dulce – I pieced together the picture after the poem was written. I found little bits of stuff and put them together in the picture. They were all in the common domain, but I think it’s fun to get an image that sort of does what I want it to. Didn’t quite get that mirror reflect overlay down. I might work on it.

  2. This is beautiful, complex, and pulled me right in. I found myself thinking of different layers, which is what I think is exemplary in a good poem.

    The reverse world inside the mirror. You could write a volume on that, Gay, and I agree with you. Lewis Carroll stopped too short of that particular ride.

    Lovely, Gay….thought provoking and resonant in a mindful way.



  3. Whew. When you get serious, you get serious–this is beautiful, deep, engaging and not just a little frightening in scope–but I believe you’ve been there, and are here now to tell the tale, because we all may have been there or may be going there, and we need to hear. Dance with the words, my friend. You do it well.

    • Sometimes I do think that. I know I go through life with a set of suspicions about reality. My husband heightened that awareness when he told me – I wrote this on someone else’s blog – that we are hard-wired to see the world in a particular way, as all species are. The birds may not see, feel or sense water, edges, sky, clouds or earth as we do; but he felt that it was all biological programming. All that is really there is energy..all we are is energy, everything can be reduced to positive and negative charges. I think it changed forever the way I look at the world. (Well he was an MIT grad in electrical engineering, I suppose one can consider the source – 😉

  4. very cool gay…love the thought of sailing those astral highways…or seas…and to go back tot he thought before the spark….or tosee it unfoldas in cs lewis’ novel…wow…there is a bit ofocean beneath the surface of this…smiles.

  5. “The journey yields wonders,
    words soaked in music,
    a music of experience.
    Lyrics unleash meaning
    and I would sing them.”

    Absolutely lovely Gay…for me t’would be that of a pleasant life…or the journey through lives…”words soaked in music,” of the spheres.

    Thanks for sharing…
    Roger ☺

    • I can’t imagine any world without music. I think the creator, the initiator, the magician who started it all may have done so by creating music (of the spheres)???

  6. “…Then, I’d shrink to the start,
    no larger than an atom,
    no larger than a quark
    to the idea before the spark.”

    “the idea before the spark.” Love that! Wonderful word choice, amazing picture painted. Thanks for sharing, beautiful!

  7. What an interesting notion: a world reversed, and if we lived it, would it be a more adventurous place than this one, though played out in hasty regression to the very spark of life, then oblivion?

    • I’ve always been fascinated by time as a dimension. They say some creatures “feel” it. Some people have “clocks in their heads” as the skaters and dancers say. They get time, always on the beat, their bodies know “when” to move. Others are clumsy as though their genes had sloughed off that ability. Time, the unseen dimension..but as I noted above, perhaps all dimensions are unseen, just that we still “see” form in three dimensions, and note the “space” in between.

  8. really loved that third stanza… I always end up thinking in lyrics…
    but I really love being pulled in to the journey of the artists’s work… paintings or poems. Wonderful.

  9. I’m struck by your trope of the mirror as door to one’s otherworld, other self — there’s an image in the lead pic though it’s really just a reflection of the speaker’s mind, going where the speaker can’t in one reality at least. The ancient Egyptians believed the Otherworld to be precisely upside down and backwards of our own, sort of a Seinfeldian BizarroWorld where everything there is the reverse of what’s here. Dreams sometimes have that quality, but they’re more dappled than that, so that the insides revealed in the image suggest the outside isn’t quite what we think. The image you sing of suggests you’ve been there, sung that, whether you were actually ever there or not. One of the gifts of living (trapped, perhaps) in the magnetic pickups of purgatorial Texas, I guess … You can stretch out a song on a river and then shrink it back down “to the idea before the spark,”

    • Reflection works on so many levels, — contemplation, mirrors, memory, decision making. I’m grateful to the note on the Egyptians. Upside down..yes I get that. They would have noted the upside down thing by using water reflections early on. Not so far to think of rivers of death, upside down and running backwards to the source, to the gods. I really like that BizarroWorld idea. daydreams take on these qualities. Thanks B.

  10. You prove what Einstein said, about poets and philosophers having been places before him. You really plumbed the depths of your imagination here. A wonderful piece, beautifully crafted. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks Jacqui – This was easier than the piece I’m considering now about contradictions…but contradictions isn’t quite the right word and I’m not sure English has the right word. It might be my obstacle.

  11. A couple nights ago I was watching a science show on PBS and a cosmologist was theorizing that a universe eventually stretches to the point where it “forgets” how big it is – size then has no meaning, and the conditions (which I don’t claim to understand) are then right for another Big Bang. In other words, this keeps happening over and over, like going into that mirror….

  12. Lovely journey… a trip from the edge of the universe, a vast expanse that is not even imaginable, yet your words of “conquerors” and “vanquished monsters” made me think of knights and dragons and my head was instantly filled with flute music of the times and then your third stanza actually spoke of music and it just absolutely blended into me. Reading this poem was as fluid as a waxed schooner swiftly sailing across a calm windy sea….

  13. Fantastic.

    “The journey yields wonders,
    words soaked in music,
    a music of experience.”

    I love the ‘other’ dimension aspect, yet the journey is into the self or into the search for original meaning of things. Very interesting. Enjoyed this.

  14. Always – the journey is in and out of the self, in and out of our time, sometimes into other people’s time. Have you ever been walking by an apartment, or through a park, and an event that wasn’t yours occurred to you? You could see it, or feel it happening right where you are but all around the time was different, things looked slightly different, cars older, clothes another period. I do that all ALL ALLLLL the time. It’s quick as a flash and then it fades.

  15. This to me is a fascinating meditation on the creative process, or how we track an insight– also a beautifully crafted exploration of sheer being– where do we and our perceptual world meet the universe? Huge questions and beautiful writing, Gay. Thanks so much for your wonderful comments…xxxj

  16. First time here after you visited me, and so glad to have found you! “Words soaked in music…” I’m a singer, so that resonates. The entire poem has an otherworldly feel to it, as though there are chimes ringing in the distance.

    Time is transient; our experiences come not just from our everyday walks and talks and jobs, but from both memories and fantasy. What COULD be. What might have been. This poem evokes feelings of possibility and of magic. I loved it, Gay. Thanks again for visiting me, and I hope our paths cross again soon. Peace, Amy

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