Poem: Seeing Softly

Seeing Softly

It is an odd old projector in an antique shop.
A stereoscope.
Put in the slide, each with two images
side by side.

The slides are old and hard to find.
A different way of seeing
than the electronics and screens
that fill our lives today.

And old way of seeing. Simpler, childlike,
leaving room for wonder and imagination.
No one believed the image was real.
It was just enough to release the dreams,

to send you wandering and wondering,
wanting to see the real thing:
Paris. Rome. Scottish castles.
Rugby players. Peep show girls. Clowns

and trapeze artists flying in the air
in sepia tones and promises.
A soft way of seeing. Truth,
without being true.

You flip through a few of the images,
tempted to buy the strange old machine,
to feel, iF only for a few moments,
young again.

It is a harsh world we live in.
Too concerned with detail and resolution,
too little concerned with romance
and the truth of seeing softly.

About this poem

Every time I see one of these stereoscopes in an antique shore I almost buy it. They are a thing of another age, an age before mine even, but they appeal to me and my love of old and simple.

I am spending a fair amount of time this week in self examination. I am, I think, a little hard on myself. And so I am working at taking my habit of seeing others softly, and applying it to myself.

So the poem combines both things, as poemS do. As often is the case, this was not the poem I intended to write.

Tom

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