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Tenacity of Lace

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Musings #51


 after Edgar Rubin’s vase


Try as I might, I see only what I see.

Even shifting my angle of vision, I cannot gain

new perspective, see this your way.


As in the picture, nothing but

a vase – single, centered, symmetrical – 


as if what is unseen is

camouflaged, like brown and white pintos

herded near snow-covered stones,


or the black dot on each wing of a butterfly

that mimics a predator’s watchful eyes.


I stare and stare – 

even cross my own

hoping the invisible will emerge in the blur.


Each time I look – just a vase 

as if the paper is a screen on which my eyes project


what they expect to see,

as if I am surrounded by mirrors reflecting

only what arises from inside.


I keep staring.  Suddenly – in a blink of resolve – 

positive and negative spaces flip-switch, 


the vase shatters, its shards swept away. 

What was once form is ground,

and what was ground – form. 


What was hidden is found,

and what was is transformed.


I understand only when I understand.

Now identical profiles stare eye to eye,

with nothing to come between us.




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