Saturday, November 27, 2010



The words in blue are the first words of Tim Rice's lyrics
 for 'The Circle of Life' from 'The Lion King.'


From the day we arrive on the planet
We are reaching for something more;
To lift up our heads from our pillows;
To reach up and open a door;
To learn how to speak, how to argue;
To travel abroad on our own;
To meet the right 'someone' and marry;
To make sure that we're not alone.
We're never content with just 'being';
We never say 'Well, I've arrived'.
We still journey on to perfection
However it may be contrived.
The urge to improvement was with us
Before we came down from the trees.
And the urge that inspired and fulfilled us
May yet bring us down to our knees!
This reaching and searching and longing
Has made human kind what it is.
The danger is we can't help reaching
For frippery, foible and fizz!
'If I buy one more dress I'll be happy!.
'If I get that new car I'll be fine!'
'I haven't yet seen Argentina!'
'I must buy the very best wine!'
We're restless and seeking and searching
And sometimes we're not sure what for;
But we know that 'perfection' is somewhere;
And we're going to find it for sure.
'I must marry someone with money!'
'I'd be happy if I had a cat!'
'If I dye my hair red I'll look better!'
' I'd be right if I wasn't so fat!'
So the instincts that made us keep striving,
To rise up from the primeval slime,
Are turning against us for certain;
It's only a matter of time!
All this wanting and needing and reaching
Is sending us all round the bend!
We'll be buried beneath all the 'must-haves'
And be smothered with 'stuff' in the end!

(Memories of a cruise round New Zealand.)

We sailed around White Island into approaching night
And the sunset wasn't fiery; in sympathy it was white.
And the puff of volcanic smoke was white like the breath of a mighty beast,
And the clouds were echoing sun and smoke as our backs were to the east.
But the island wasn't white at all, regardless of its name!
It was heavy, black and Gothic like the depths from which it came.
But deep inside White Island, as we were sailing by,
We knew that mighty forces were yearning for the sky.
For the centre is made of sun-stuff  and it's longing to return,
And, when it does, the sea and sky will burst into flame and burn!


eyeography said...

Very beautiful poems... :)

Margaret Gosden said...

Reaching - you are always so good at this sort of observation, best said in this form than in prose me thinks! As for White Island, it brings to mind that other island in Italy (I think) in which Ingrid Bergman starred and rocked the world when she and the film-maker got together!

Flying Monkey said...

Love the first poem. So true and so well said!

Whitesnake said...

Beautifully put!

George S Batty said...

very nice...enjoyed it

Gemma Wiseman said...

That first poem is an absolute gem! I so love the idea that we reach for "frippery, foible and fizz!" Gorgeous! And so true that our ongoing need to have may just be when we have nothing!

hedgewitch said...

Liked both poems, especially the second, though I couldn't be more in agreement with your conclusions in the first. The second just has that profound air of mystery and harmony that nature has so simply but people seldom achieve.

dustus said...

Cannot decide which poem I liked better. Both were enjoyable and thought provoking.

Katherine Krige said...

The sentiments and poetics in the first are awesome. Never content are we.

Anonymous said...

Aahh... that first poem soooo rings true!!
This darned rat race! It seems to have no end whatsoever!! Whoever started it should be .. well.. whatever!
"The urge to improvement was with us
Before we came down from the trees." -- LOVED these lines.. and yes, we have found someone to blame .. again! :)
Oh I like this poem.. I really like this poem! Cuz I am so tired of keeping my arms outstretched, trying to reach out for more and more...and more..

Caty said...

both of these were fabulous. I loved the message you instilled in the first one and the image in the second one. I may have to add New Zealand to my "to do" list. I think you're rhyming technique and skill is one of the best I've read! :)

Marshy said...

i loved them both...but frippery,foible & fizz topped it for me...great thought provoking poems..cheers pete

Marshy said...

loved both but frippery, foible & fizz topped it for me..great shares pete

Shashidhar Sharma said...

'We're restless and seeking and searching
And sometimes we're not sure what for;'
The eternal thought and desire to be satisfied.. which hardly comes to chaotic mind.. I liked it.. Thanks

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

Janet said...

diggit! perfection is not "out there", but rather within. yep.

Steve Isaak said...

I only read the first poem - due to situation/schedule constraints, and in order to read all poets posting per week - poets get my attention for one poem (unless they're haiku, or super-short).

I liked the first poem, though its length lessened the intensity and strength of the message - that said, I get that you were playing with with words, so intensity didn't seem to be your goal here.

In short: good work/message. An alternate, much shorter version - possibly a haiku (or something like it) would make this oh so potent, excellent.

Either way, keep up the good writing. :)