Daily Archives: March 15, 2017

Subtle signs


It may be a prehistoric memory —
preserved out of everyday reach, to be revealed when needed,
or it it could be something you construe as an aura.

It may come as a subtle sign —
a glint in the eye, a tiny twitch,
an invisible odour, sweet, savoury or sour,
unacknowledged, but wafting from friend, stranger or foe;
a hint that the logical mind cannot find reason for
and lips cannot explain,
caught quickly by a primitive box in the brain,
and transferred to a tray marked “consciousness”,
to be dealt with this instant, if urgent,
or to be left, and looked at later,
to weigh with or against the body of solid evidence,
or the strength of our desire.

We call it instinct,
but each day our brains become more muddied
by the weight of technology, intellect, faulty information,
and greedy wants, which we perceive as needs.
We lack the means to see inside our heads
and find the birth-place of each idea.

The ability to distinguish
between instinct and invention
slips slowly from our range of abilities,
and sometimes we ignore true warning,
while at others we may act rashly,
when the flashing signs are false.

Written for The Daily Post #Instinct

©Jane Paterson Basil