Gerard Gauci Scene from “Armide” at the Palace of Versailles
Image courtesy of operaatelier.com





I’ll always be part of an audience—
not the worst crowd to melt in,
though observers are often portrayed
as distant, uninvolved.

I, too, am an observer.

I watch the plot thicken and flare
up toward denouement, and I mirror
the actors’ emotions with my own
quietly smoldering thoughts.

When the play ends, I go home
to a house I care to be in
less than that place I inhabited
for a little over an hour or two and felt

I somehow belonged.

When the play ends, I keep
my face on, clutching underneath
embers of what I have seen,
the way a still lake seizes within

things people carelessly discard:
bits of conversations,
a pair of old boots,
a rusty knife, the broken

frame of a window.


Prompt courtesy of dVerse, where Lilian hosted Tuesday Poetics last night, inviting contributions on this beguiling topic: Opposites Attract, Or Do They? 

36 thoughts on “Spectator

Add yours

  1. Oh how I do love to go to the theater….a movie, a play, an opera, the ballet — but not the circus in the true sense of the word. And oh yes — when we are moved by the scene (from any of the above), we do take a piece of that excitement/sadness/fear/exhileration home with us…it becomes a bit of our psyche as we meet the rest of our day/evening. And I love that comparison between that “gathering” from the scene into ourselves to the lake that keeps within it the leftovers of its visitors. One of my favorite things to do when we went to Bermuda for a month each winter was go to what the locals called Sea Glass Beach. But more than the sea glass, I always used to look for chards of ceramics….bits and smooth pieces of a saucer, plate, that had a bit of design left on it from its pattern or maker.
    Enjoyed this post very much! 🙂 Such an interesting topic to choose 🙂 Spectator / observer to ultimately collector 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lillian, this means a lot! I meant to write a sort of acceptance of my own limitations (being an observer rather than a doer, a member of the audience rather than an actor), but the poem had its own mind and took me to another destination. I love water and the many secrets it holds.


  2. The growing collection alluded to in the last two stanzas seems scary at first. All those broken pieces and savaged bits take space… and more. But, remembering that the clutching also involves wonders and soothings leaves the reader with hope. I like that. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the reflective tone of your poem and the ending is just a nice finish ~ I think we are all spectators, though at times we are part of the play ~ That still lake is a lovely metaphor, giving me the impression that the spectator takes in all the details normally missed by others ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If all the world’s a stage… (*nods pensively)😊
      Thank you for this lovely comment, Grace! I know that observing has its advantages. I’m waiting to become wiser, see more lucidly, and stop fretting about my minuscule part in the play. 😊 The ego is a hungry thing.


  4. Mighty fine poem! I love the idea of spectatorship/theatre as a way of seeing self, especially how the embers stay with us like the debris seized by a lake! Oh to be a lake! Alive! And when we are that engaged, don’t be surprised if some of the audience watch us! That’s a line from a Lily Tomlin play called “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”–form the 1970s, of course, as are most of my illusions. Thanks for posting this at Poets United Midweek Motif.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank YOU, Susan, for this wonderful comment! I haven’t seen that play–will try to find it, if it’s available online (what a great title!). It’s my pleasure to join your poetic community.


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