Longlisted Poem 2012

Natasha Bourne

St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School, London

Zeno’s Paradox

It is the curse of my wisdom, cried Zeno mournfully,
That when fleeing those who pursue me,
I know I am unable to escape.
For I can see the road before me
And I can see my destination
Glowing dimly of hope and hopelessness.
I can see all the places I must first reach –
There, do you see? That upturned stone,
Baked so it shines in the dusty heat
But how many other such stones must we first stumble past
Before we reach its hazy promise of progression?
Why, a thousand, a million, an infinite number!
And yet each one of these pebbles
Is itself a mountain to cross,
Marbled with a dozen shades of greys and reds,
Veins carved upon its surface
By some impossible predecessor.
Raising my eyes, Ganzfeld.
Infinity is in the way.
One half, one quarter, one eighth, one sixteenth,
I call and the yardsticks line up before me
Standing closer together
As they increase exponentially in number.
My field of vision is divided –
Democrites hovers with his knife.
This many parts can never make a whole.
Well then, why begin?
Why begin when it is impossible to end?
As my motion is a fallacy,
So is that of my pursuers.

And so we all stand,
Land-locked.
© Natasha Bourne

Project Details

  • Date February 7, 2015
  • Tags 2012 Voyages - Longlisted Poems