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


22 thoughts on “Subtle signs

    1. It’s a fractal image. I must learn how to do them one of these days.
      When I first began looking inside myself I didn’t like what I saw, so I looked away until I could face trying to make a few adjustments. I’ve done a bit of tinkering since, but I think you’re right, our understanding is limited.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. The recent Presidential Election has brought that frightening issue to the forefront.
              Some people choose what to believe in the same way they’d select a favourite chocolate from a box, while others believe the first thing they hear, and block all else out.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I was so angry – even more angry than I am after each general election. There was no explaining to those people who thought that a vote to leave was a vote to kick out anybody whose skin was a different colour, so that we could all have jobs and be rich and live happily ever after and the sun would always shine at the funny farm
                  Where life is beautiful all the time
                  And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men
                  In their clean white coats
                  And they’re coming to take me away ha-haaa.
                  A lot of people who voted our current Government in, claimed after the referendum that they had only cast their vote as a protest against the Tories. My answer: Well, thanks a lot – not satisfied shooting bullet holes into the wall, you had to tear the whole building down.
                  I lose control at the mention of British Politics. I’ll stop now.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Lately I’ve been covering my eyes and screaming every time I get Brexit news. There’s no excuse for this, except to say that I’m suffering from an overload of anger toward politicians and the general populance. I’m trying to calm down.

                      Liked by 1 person

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