I do not denigrate the surface of things–
that outer shell that holds back all
that might otherwise leak out and fade away:
the snapshots and the clay cup,
the crude paintings on the refrigerator by a naïve hand,
the roses scattered to complete the collage
of a life composed of surfaces:

your hard muscled arms,
the curve of the brush,
the sharp steel of the edge that cut
you out and then back into my life
in silhouettes that, lacking one dimension,
revealed so much more.

Surface meaning is an oxymoron.
Surfaces are never the meanings themselves;
but instead, like a cup, they hold our lives.
Without surfaces the world would be but an idea,
and perhaps not even that.

Who knows but that ideas themselves are surfaces,
clinging to protons and neutrons and quarks.
She is only on the surface?? Impossible—
perhaps just unable to convey what lies beneath,
for every surface of the world lies deep as well.

The leaves have a deeper significance,
as does the sonata and the sonnet.
It is when we do not look beneath the surface
that we fail to see what is connected beneath.
Always, always, a surface is an ocean you can swim in.
It is outer space and inner space.

Geometry tells us that a surface
has only two dimensions, like a square,
boxes are comprised of squares.
Everything in our world is more complex
than some would make it out to be,
and surfaces are both doors
and invitations 
asking us to enter.


Please join me at open link night to post a poem, read some poems or do both at:

25 thoughts on “Surfaces

    1. lifelessons Post author

      A very interesting observation, Bjorn. It was fun to think about this topic. I wrote a totally different poem, but then rethought the subject and ended with this one.


  1. Bodhirose

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on surfaces. I hadn’t really thought about the subject but can see that there are different perspectives. A surface can be where it all happens and then too where it simply is the “doorway” to more. Interesting!

    Thank you for joining in with dVerse Poets today for Open Link Night. It is our custom to link our poems back to dVerse (like you did for The Daily Post). We would appreciate it.

    Gayle ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. K. McGee

    Physics and math lessons are now clashing with one another in my head! However, deeper than that your poem leaves me with the notion that nothing is ever as it seems, and upon further investigation we only discover that me must still go deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I know. Even Science keeps learning this, I believe. The universe is so complex that anything is just a stab at trying to ascertain the truth…and I think some of those truths are better understood through art and poetry than through science–at least according to the way my brain works. Thanks so much for your comments, K..


    1. lifelessons Post author

      In my case they are my nieces, the children of friends and a little girl who used to show at the art center where I curated shows 16 years ago!! I still have her art up on my fridge.



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