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These are hard materials
Sharp edged, inflexible
To a degree
That unfolds the truth,
And one truth
Leads to the next
In linear sequence.

Each from the others, isolated
Yet dependent
On what has gone before,
And what follows for the confirmation of truth’s verity.

Various truths are the data set of probability,
Flexible to a degree
Because of the uncertainty of absolute verity
That only singularity allows.
The statistic of one
That even when wrong
Its absoluteness is unquestionable
Because to question is not to know
What has gone before.

To know is singular in its effect,
Its purpose sustained by the uncertainty of data sets
From which truth derives.
The metaphysics of it all
Betrays the conceit of knowledge
And those that claim knowledge
Such that they impose their understanding
On others do not know
And care even less,
Except when their ignorance
Results in what is cared for….
All suppressed by the singularity of knowing
By those who acknowledge a statistic of one.
Preferring the comfort of its certainty
Rather than the uncertainty
That arises form the truth of data sets.


Data sets determine league tables
Positions of football clubs
And universities
Where those learning to know
Know what they are learning
And rate it accordingly.
Because as customers
It is said that
They are entitled to know
Even if they are learning
The data sets that allow them to understand
What they are attempting to know
Perhaps without conscious thought of
The void of ignorance that learning attempts to fill.

Yet in their unknowing, the certainty of the learning
Determines the positions of institutions in league tables
In turn compiled from the data sets
Of incomplete knowledge
Asserted with conviction
Establishing what is said to be true
In ignorance of sure foundations.

I wish that I had the conviction of others
To be certain of what I know
Without doubt
Without hesitation
Untrammelled by thoughts of the uncertainty of data sets
Compiled by the compilation of singularities.

Which itself compels another thought
That we all derive from a single small point,
Infinitesimally small but infinitely massive
Exploding once or perhaps in series
Like the popping of a two-stroke petrol engine
That propelled motorbikes and lawn mowers
In yesteryear.

And yet we are saying the same thing
In different ways
Unrelenting in the stream of thought
And consciousness
But ….
Please allow the words’ meanings to breath.
Where is the pause
To allow the assimilation of meaning?

The punctuation of time and space
The meaning of words
Arises from their spacing
And timing.

David Applin August 23rd 8:00am-ish 2014


Yet the certainty of data sets
Give us comfort
Those who await the miracle of birth
Calculate the probability of certainty
From statistics derived from the accumulation
Of data
To give the certainty of a happy outcome
A statistic of one…. or at most two or three
To which we all cling and which data
Accumulated in sets allows to be certain…
Or at least to hope to be certain
That the outcome will be happy
And reinforce our faith in belief
Itself knowledge in the absence of evidence
Truth uncurled by those hard materials
Derived from numbers
Each in itself a number
And therefore a singularity
Which hard materials cannot uncurl
Only their interpretation
Can reveal the truth of data sets
Each consisting of the singular truths
That interpretation cannot uncurl,
Because to do so would give us a statistic of one
Which cannot be questioned
Because it stands alone
Inflexible, somewhat obtuse without the context
Of the other singularities that make up the data set.

Befriended of one another, the collective now represents a version of truth
Because each singularity gives context to its companions
So that collectively their truth is revealed
As a statistic.

One as a statistic cannot be
Because it lacks the context of its companions,


David Applin
Queen Victoria
North Sea
Lying off Ostend
25th October (evening) 2014

Copyright David Applin 2015
......another poem from the collection 'Letters to Anotherself'
Easter Monday (2015)

The silence
It was the silence
As we entered the gates of hell.
The bird song,
It was the bird song
That chorused our way
To the well
Of tears at the wall
Of many tongues
That speak to the silence still,
Of the voices that cried
For the people who died
The void only time will fill.

The sun
It was the sun
Shining on the wooden cross.
The sky
It was the sky
So blue, and flecked with the floss
Of clouds so white
So pure in light
That the wall of the well of tears
Transfigured the sin
We heap on Him
Whose loss for many
Is the only way
To feel the void time fills.

The woodpecker drummed a beat
On the trunks
Of the trees so parallel still.
A whisper of wind
That rebounds the sound
Of innumerable roll calls
Of the thousands who now
Lie deep in the cradles of mounds
Stone faced, inscribed Toten
With the number interred within
Verboten… now
But why not then?
In that world of men
And women, when humanity’s meaning
Was turned on end.
And a godless creed
That shadowed the world with grief
Which now for many,
Is beyond belief.

The stillness
It was the stillness
That gave silence the space to breathe,
To remember the times, the godless times
That now are so hard to believe.
But silence and stillness envelope the House
A silent place to be
To hear the past that shows the present
The prayers for a future that sees
What could be,
What can be
But will we
Learn, the history from then to now
To forge that future for future’s sake
And answer the question…

David Applin
… late afternoon and evening of Easter Monday 6th April 2015 following a visit to Bergen-Belsen earlier in the day, completed 7th-9th April.

15th April 2015 … 70 years after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen by the British Army.

David Applin (Copyright 2015)
Guarding the Gate

I said to the Old Man by the gate
Please let me pass to the field beyond
Where flowers lift their blooms to sky
That glimmers the flush of hopeful dawn.

The Old Man paused and said to me
Pass, pass please to your destiny
That comes to all but once this way
Beyond the gate where I stay.

To guard the hopes of those who’ve passed
And those to come
Their hopes, your hopes
Will come to be
Through the gate to eternity.

David Applin
February 2012
'Hopes and Dreams'...explores the limitations of perception in more than three dimensions plus time.


Uncoupling hopes from truth sometimes reveals reality
Which is hard to bear
According to Eliot.
The difference between hope and what is real
Is sometimes the basis for laughter
Or tears…..
In equal measure
Depending on the deficit
Between reality, and the reality of hoping.
Two sides of the same coin
The masks of theatre,
Comedy and tragedy.

Yet reality is what we face day to day
Uncoupled from hope
An atheistic vision of what is true
In which dreams expire.

Hopes, dreams and reality
Congregate in theistic minds
As a woven integrity
But is the congress true?

Atheist and theist in perpetual conflict
One offering only truth,
The other hoping that belief is true
But, to what ….?
In this world caught in three dimensions
But do not forget time that marks when
We are born and when we die
According to Ecclesiastes.

The atheism of truths of a certain kind
Confined by the question asked
And who is asking, and the way of asking,
Atheist and theist talking at each other
But not in conversation
A dialogue of deafness to other points of view
An unbridged chasm for all of human history.

The certainty of truth is one problem,
Because certainty brooks no other view
But remember the constraints of truth’s
discovery and then assertion
In three dimensions, and do not forget time.

Unwittingly Carl Sagan made the point in flatland
A place of two dimensions,
Breadth and width, but no height
Infinitesimally flat, thin
Flat and thin, so that an apple
In its plump three dimensional roundness
Made its visit, announced its presence
But left only an infinitesimally flat, thin
Impression of its visitation,
With its announcement seemingly coming from wherever,
Infinite confusion.
For flatlanders who perceived a visitation
Without explanation
A mystery within which we experience
The determinism of truth
Not qualified by the dimensions
In which it’s made
Or defined
To the confusion of those who question truth,
If truth means the assertion of certainty.

Was it for flatlanders first cause?
Just like Paley’s watchmaker of the watch
found on the heath,
Each trapped in their respective
Two dimensions and three dimensions
Limited by their dimensionality
Of what they could see or imagine.
Not yet liberated by many dimensions
That liberated Tennyson to understand
That more is achieved by dreaming without limits.

Tennyson said…
That more things are achieved by prayer
Than this world dreams of,
But what are dreams?
Visions of hope, or the darkness of damnation?
But can we imagine these visions
In many dimensions?
And find new truths which we cannot perceive
In the day to day.


Dreams can be suspension
Between what is real and what we hope for,
Or ……
A plunge into an abyss of horrors
The nightmare’s nightcrusher
That reflects the fears of our experience,
The fears of Fuseli’s nights
Of grotesque creatures that taunt the hopes
Of our tomorrows
By revealing the layers of yesterday’s experience,
A past that haunts the future
In the day to day.

Yet redeemed by intentions
For the good,
And honourable to the nature of humankind,
And lifekind with which we share organic ancestry.

Dreams release the mind to find another place,
Another dimension, where what happens
Can happen and more than we can suppose
According to Haldane.

Limitless possibilities that dreamtimes
Expose what we do not own
But instead we are a part of.
Land, sea and air fused with the spirit
Of peoples that inhabit distant shores
Where they are one with the place
Where they are, were and will be
For all time.
The dreamtime of Australia’s
Original peoples.

And so the plump apple
Becomes a part of the experience
Of those who live in two dimensions,
Carl’s flatlanders experience their
Dreamtime of first causes
Because the missing dimension disallows
Their understanding of what is real.

So conflate the idea to many dimensions
And you can see what I mean.
Imagine the unimaginable
That cannot be seen
Because of the constraints of three dimensions.

And do not forget time
Perhaps the portal for imagining
What cannot be experienced
In spacetime warped and curved
By the embrace of gravity.

We sail in this cosmic sea
Not seeing its possibilities
Because we are not equipped
To see through a glass darkly
Or so Corinthians says
But to half see, dimly see
And the truth of black holes
Where physics is sundered
Perhaps allowing passage to other creations
To us mere visions of what we aspire to be
And understand
Just as Blake saw heaven in a wild flower.


To perceive the possibility of many dimensions
Is to free the mind
From superstition
From the prejudices
That blight the landscape of our thinking,
And the landscape of dreams
When we perceive self
As if disembodied
Floating on the ceiling looking down
Detachedly on what we do
And what others do in the day to day.

Doings driven by the limited framework
Of width, breadth and height.
Width and breadth and height
And do not forget the passage of time
In which our doings take place.

One is singular in mind and body
Meaning self in the day to day.
To be beside oneself is joy and anger
The Janus faced self
Somewhat like the masks of comedy and tragedy
But of emotion and not theatrical circumstance.

How many multiples of
Space and time
Are needed to be beside oneself
In a quantum universe?
Or universes where to touch would be
Annihilation of self
Tracked as energy pure, and as simple
As the dreams of our disembodied self
Looking down from the ceiling.


Is hope the delusion of optimism,
Dreams its manifestation of unreality?
Who can say because analysis
Is limited within the context of our perception.
Perception influenced by prejudice and misunderstanding
Because we are limited by what
Can be understood
In three dimensions,
And do not forget time
And gravity
And the failure of its resolution with dimension
and time
Limiting understanding.

If we acknowledge the limitations
Even if not understanding the quantum context
Then, given we are prepared to accept the
Described by Heisenberg,
Then we are mentally equipped
To understand that truth is provisional
But with verity according to experience
Accumulated through the continuity of history.

We try to resolve contradictions
Because resolution anchors us into
the certainty of
Our present experience,
And certainty is comfort, allowing us to live
Day to day.

David Applin, May 2013

Copyright David Applin 2015
A poem from the collection 'Letters to Anotherself'.... copyright David Applin
Lily’s first poem

Lily’s eyes are a pool of dreams
Love and laughter are two great themes
To fill her life with wonders to be
Which are the dreams we wish for thee.

Lily’s name is a field of flowers
Weaving the colours of beautiful bowers
Havens of peace made secure
By mummy and daddy who make life so sure.

Sure to know, and sure to do
The future, my future is the clue
To forge the dreams of beautiful flowers
Whose powers
Are the symbol of
Loves great tower.

David Applin   11.00pm November 17th 2014

David Applin (Copyright 2015)
Mr Darwin, please explain

Reading TS Eliot is to be drawn into timeless space where images of past and future combine in a continuous stream of thinking …. perhaps the immortality of ideas. The genetic material of life, DNA, is immortal, an unbroken thread linking life’s origins 4 billion years ago to the present ….. and future.

Sequence upon sequence of symbolic letters encoding countless forms of bodies, built to the same principles inherent in the genetic code, yet morphing in endless variety according to the tenets of natural selection ….. Darwin’s idea that transformed our thinking from a moment of purposeful creation to how life changes through time.

Cosmologists suggest we live in one of many possible universes perhaps in parallel time allowing parallel lives, one not knowing of the other’s existence because of the limitations of our three dimensional view of the world and its existence in the cosmos. We see in three dimensions and no more, but we are aware of more because mathematics tells us so.

Mr Darwin, please explain explores the seamless continuity of Darwinian thinking with the timelessness of Eliot’s poetry…..

I In my beginning is my end …. V In my end is my beginning.
(East Coker, Four Quartets, TS Eliot)

Mr Darwin, please explain


What is this selection of love so natural
To drive men insane and women to purgatory
Can Mr Darwin explain?
Some ask the question
But I doubt not, that his meaning is clear
Why love one to one remains so dear,
Though Karl denied it, Lenin too
And Uncle Joe dismissed it
As a plot to subvert what was good for the proletariat.
But in that recent time when ******’s darkness shadowed The Earth
Love glowed in the gloom of the despair of nations’ Terezíns
Which to-day helps to repair our broken dreams
Of why we love one to one.

Keats loved one ***** Brawne
And Coleridge his Asra
But what is ecstasy’s advantage?
When comes the pain of separation
Mr Darwin, please explain.
Is it lust, is it reproduction?
But then when love is thwarted
We cannot function,
Where is the advantage
Mr D --- what is the aim, can you explain?
How the coiled spiral passing from time to time
Its immortal message which condemns each generation
To the pain of separation
When the reaper calls, or the rival sunders
The coils of love’s message we’ve inherited
Since the beginning of time
Why? What is the advantage?
Mr D, please tell me your answer.

The whales they sing one to one
Like Eliot’s mermaids singing
Not to Prufrock but perhaps to you and me
The message of communication.
Is this love as one to one
Each supports another wounded
By the enormity of the harpoon?
The dictator’s message in another form
Devoid of love, sundered, never whole
Coming from that Terezín we never solve.
Dysfunctional Mr D, where’s the advantage
For such conflicting feelings to evolve?

David Applin
March 2012


Genes are the immortal ones
The links between past and future
But ever present
Unintentionally directing the future and fate of humankind.

Silent, unobserved yet Gods of their domain
Which is us and life past and future
Coiled threads of eternity that determine our happenings
Including our loving one to one.

Yet ….

In their entirety and interaction
Do they, in their interaction
Determine our loving one to one?
The bond that binds each to each
Perpetual celebration.

Or ….

Is their selfish blindness which some accord to be
Like boats tossed helplessly on storm driven seas
Subject to the whims of wind and rain
No more than replicators housed in vehicles
Subject only to the chances of a changing world.


Bodies are vehicles, genes the replicators
Bodies and genes indivisible
At least in the present
But separated as bodies die after
Genes have passed to their immortal future.
Perhaps this is what is meant when they say
That the gene is selfish.

Accommodated in the selfless body at a particular time
But then discarded as genes pass its immortality
From past to future
Changes slow, quick depending on stasis or acceleration
According to Darwinian tenets that enfold the changes
In genes and therefore bodies
Through all time.


Cycle upon cycle of genes and bodies
One perpetual, the other discarded each generation
By the unseen hand of an uncaring Nature.

Our nature, all nature, the beauty of sunsets
Driven by the mechanical clocks of cosmic cycles.

Yet Relative to other Dimensions where
What we see, we do not see
Because of the profound limitations
Of three dimensions.
We see only dimly what might be past
And what could be future
As we struggle in the presence of tautological explanation.

Body and gene, gene and body the temporary and perpetual
Bound in the dance of a living presence
The one ensuring the other’s future
For all time.
Circle upon circle, tautological argument
Explaining everything and nothing but all powerful
In its reductionism of humankind
And life kind as whales support the one
Wounded by the enormity of the harpoon
Loosed by the bodies of genes
Storm tossed and directionless
When thinking that others’ bodies
Can be discarded without thought or thinking
Perpetual damnation.

Tautomeric interaction.
We say the same thing in different ways,
Recycled ideas that parody the twenty different plots of novels
That return to the same point,
Come back to the common question

Why do we love one to one?

People ask…. ‘Can Mr Darwin explain?’

Perhaps not through bodies and genes
But instead, understanding the epistasis of genes and where we live.
We live in this world because of our past
As genes dance to the chance of environmental shifts
The whims of wind and rain, sea and wave
That blow and toss the genes
In their bodies, in random patterns,
Some sinking, others floating
Not always by chance
But because they float and fight
Yielding to the pressures of an uncaring nature.
Like soft down yielding to the thud of falling bodies
Softening their impact.

So to yield as well as fight
Is part of the selection of one by another
In the perpetual
Celebration of loving one to one.

We yield to the blandishments of the soft embrace
We fight to attain it

And once attained, what we do is all we do
To keep a hold on what we love
Only to lose it to the grim reaper of all our dreams
In this present world,
But to regain it in worlds to come
The link between past and future
For immortal genes
Of transitory bodies which is how
We think and see our presence
In time without end.


General relativity and quantum mechanics
The combination of infinity and the very small
Do not replace the Newtonian meaning of the day to day.
Just, that Newton is displaced to another time and place
Where description is precise but with uncertainty according to

To be certain is to fix ideas in time
Like natural selection in the Darwinian mind
To be propitiated without exception, else suffer extinction of self
And of all that matters to self and others
Sacrificed on the alter to propitiate the Gods of our certainty.

That is not to say that an idea cannot be fixed in time
That its central tenet is not true for eternity.
But truth is relative and uncertain
To be strengthened or cast aside
By better truths or developments of the same.

Our understanding expands with time
But often returns to something that was said before
And said again as if it were newly minted
In the mind of its creator
To become dogma
And as all dogmas
The truth unchanged in people’s minds.
Yet the central tenet survives, as survival is the result of natural selection
But with added components as
Understanding expands as to what is meant by surviving and survival.
To inherit the coils of love’s message is to survive.


Can Mr Darwin explain?
Perhaps is not a whole question
In the same sense that answers depend on
The question asked and who is asking.

The truths that questions seek to answer
The truths of love, beauty and heating systems
Arise from answers to questions in different languages,
And languages translate imperfectly from one to one
As genes imperfectly translate proteins and therefore love in the
Darwinian world of our dreams.

Truth comes in different forms
And Darwinian truth is true to the questions it addresses.
But these are not the only questions of why we are,
Who we are, what we are
Who, what, why are we?

Questions past and future asked in the present
For all eternity.

Christmas (25th-28th) 2012
David Applin

Copyright David Applin 2015
......the rest of the poem as promised when the first part was posted May 2015. Another poem from the collection 'Letters to Anotherself'
What  is this selection of love so natural

To drive men insane and women to purgatory

Can Mr Darwin explain?

I doubt not , but is the meaning clear

Why love one to one remains so dear.

Karl denied it, Lenin too

And Uncle Joe dismissed it

As a plot to subvert what was good for the proletariat.

But in that recent time when ******’s darkness shadowed
                                                                                                 The Earth

Love glowed in the gloom of the despair of nations’  Terezins

Which to-day helps to repair our broken dreams

Of why we love one to one.

Keats loved one ***** Brawne

And Coleridge his Asra

But what is ecstasy’s advantage?

When comes the pain of separation

Mr Darwin, please explain.

Is it lust, is it reproduction?

But then when love is thwarted

We cannot function,

Where is the advantage

Mr D --- what is the aim, can you explain?

How the coiled spiral passing from time to time

Its immortal message which condemns each generation

To the pain of separation

When the reaper calls, or the rival sunders

The coils of love’s message  we’ve inherited

Since the beginning of time.

Why? What is the advantage?

Mr D, please tell me your answer.

The whales they sing one to one

Like Eliot’s mermaids singing

Not to Prufrock but perhaps to you and me

The message of communication.

Is this love as one to one

Each supports another wounded

By the enormity of the harpoon?

The dictator’s message in another form

Devoid of love, sundered, never whole

Coming from that Terezin we never solve.

Dysfunctional Mr D, where’s the advantage

For such conflicting feelings to evolve?

David Applin (Copyright 2015)

March 2012
'Mr Darwin,please explain' is written in six parts. The other parts will be posted from time to time
Night Cries....

Night shadows darken my wall of dreams
Shading my thoughts, or so it seems
TO me, as misty sleep wakens to goblins and elves
Lurking in corners, and on the shelves
Where teddy sits and dolly too
Their shapes all lumpy, as they grew
Grotesque in my mind, started with themes
That only come in night time dreams.

But here is mummy, and daddy as well
To startle the dark which quickly fell
From my mind now clear,
Of the shadows that cause night time fear.

David Applin … 4.30am
August 4th 2012

Copyright David Applin 2015
........a poem from the collection 'The Rose Poems'
"Pop's" she said,
And that was Rosie
"You have a patch
That is no posy
Of flowers,
Because no hair
Grows there."
"Pop's" said Rosie
"Is that fair?"

David Applin

August 2018
... another of 'The Rose Poems'
The Garden of Gethsemane takes many forms,
All different from our usual norms,
Reflecting was and what will be
As was and are translate to me.

Surrendering self on this sacred ground,
Is perhaps one step that I have found
Hard; to disengage the self that was
From the self that is before the cross.

Understanding helps us know
Humility, so that we can grow
To replace old ambitions
With new ones, in the same traditions.

The Garden allows the Revelations
That help us make these translations
From old to new, so that in repose
We hold true to purpose and resolve.

David Applin
August 2018
... recovery from unexpected misfortune.
Rosie’s World

Up, up, up to where?
To mummy’s shoulder so I can stare
Upon my world below,
On books, on toys and teddy, so
Bought belovedly for me to share
With mummy, daddy and those who care
For a world of love, fit to live in
My world, your world, a place so thrilling
Lest we forget the joy of living.

David Applin …… 21st October 2011

Copyright David Applin 2015
.....a poem from the collection 'The Rose Poems'
Is there anything glorious about August the twelfth?
When people privileged with exceptional wealth
Think it their right, to blast the sky
And the birds that fly, ne'er so high.

Is there dignity to the flurry that follows?
To be first delivering corpses to fellows
And consorts, dining in fair London town
On the shot blasted flesh, fallen down ...

To British soil, the land of the free!
So free, to be trapped in iniquity,
In pursuit of what some think to be glorious
But surely Blake's heaven would be furious.

David Applin
Written on 12th June 2018 in anticipation of the opening of the grouse shooting season August 12th/13th ...August 13th because August 12th 2018 falls on a Sunday and as far as I am aware shooting grouse (game) on Sundays is illegal in England and Wales.
Tea Talk (or Taking Tea)

Jam comes first
And then the cream
Said the scone from Cornwall
To one ‘n’ all
Taking tea

Milk jug blinked.
The teaspoon gasped,
Who would have linked
The layers of bliss that sweetly kiss
With their order between the halves of a scone
From Cornwall
Where one ‘n’ all
Know that the milk is churned
Until it’s solid
Then we say the cream is clotted.

The teapot looked at the scone from Devon
Who knows that cream and jam is heaven
But only if the cream comes first
And then the jam . . . . .
My thoughts exactly said the ham
From between its sandwich fingers
Where it lingers
Until it’s time for tea.

‘Are you sure?’ the teacup said
To ham within its breaden bed.
Saucer asked the cucumber salad,
‘Should jam come first?’
‘But does it matter?’ said cucumber salad.
‘It’s a ballad
So red and white,
A symphony of taste
Into which to bite.
It is so right
For those who are taking tea,’

‘Jam then cream, is what you do,’
Insisted Cornwall’s scone who
As we know likes cream to be clotted.
But tomato blushed and quickly said,
‘With cream from Devon I am besotted
Because we know it’s clotted. . . . .

Onion, hearing Cornwall and Devon
Knows that cream and jam are heaven . . . . .
But jam and cream are bliss
Sealed with a kiss that is heaven . . . . .too.
The dilemma of order fuels onion’s frustration
And onion’s tears lead to prostration
For those who are taking tea.

What is to be done
To solve the question of order
Jam first . . . . . or cream?
The issue borders
On the ridiculous
As the layers sweetly intermingle
Like the lovers’ kiss
As those who are taking tea
Bite . . . . .
Ouch! said onion
The scone from Cornwall
And the scone from Devon
‘Either way is heaven.

David Applin

Copyright …David Applin (2015)
.....after visiting Reid's Hotel, Funchal Madeira
What is Life?

Schrodingers thinking
Lingering still
In the recess of Mitchell’s mind.
Where proton pumping
And electron streams
Released the energy
That powered the dreams
Of Crick and Watson’s thinking.
Exculting the coils
That toss and dance
To the chance of whimsical nature.
The random acts of random doings
Not knowing,
Mr Darwin explained
As better the dance
The better the themes
That evolve from primeval electron streams.

What quantum edge has uncertainty given
To Darwin’s original thinking?
Is the particle here
Or is it there
Where starry light, twinkling
Prompts the notion
That the galactic ocean

………………….to be completed

Copyright David Applin May 2015
Unfinished....a work in progress

— The End —