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last update:

9th Jun 10

Pat Earnshaw photo
from original
photograph by Ronald E
Brown A.R.C.A.

Pat Earnshaw website

in the shop…
collections –
“My Cat Vince”,
“Out on a Limb”,
“Pigeon Grounded”,
and pamphlets –
“Gothic Tales”,
“Virtual Eden”;
– Gorse Publications;

and pamphlet –
“The Golden Hynde”,
Redbeck Press




Reverse Engineering

          The disassembly of a finished product usually
          with the intention to steal.
                    Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology.
          (could be applied to creative writings).

There are dangers in looking too closely,
deconstructing the vision: a boy is excavating
an old watch wanting its tick
that abruptly stops just as he’s about
to pounce on it and in that instant everything
stops time is fixed though he’s lined up each bit
so nothing is lost but something is lost
and the watch watches him
out of the static isolation of its separated parts –
mourning the integrity, lively activity, mystery
of completeness he can’t reconstruct –
Yet the one ant can work all its life,
independent yet part of a whole, knowing
it is only a part (a part but not useless),
unable to survive on its own but essential
to the life of the colony that could not exist
without it or others like it, as it carries
a drop of water draped over its jaws
for its house-bound sisters doing the chores
inside the labyrinth of ant-hills, as much
a stranger to vanity as the molecules
bouncing around inside the lens-shaped drip,
their identity sacrificed
to be part of the water –
unlike the ring-necked pheasant
stupid with pride, though even we cannot know
what we look like except in a mirror and then
only laterally reversed and then
only seeing our fronts unless
by some manual manipulation we steal a glimpse
of our backs, thinking ’ This is me, this is life,
though never quite certain.
And what does the blank face of the mirror hide
when no one is watching and it stares out
with the fixed expressionless eyes of a viper,
knowing there is all the difference in the world
between looking into a mirror
and living inside it…

Pat Earnshaw

Previously published in The Writer, Journal of the Society of Medical Writers, Vol.8, no.1, Summer2009 and commended in their Hertford Writing Competition