Which way do you see things first? (Click the poems for pdf versions you can enlarge and copy the text from.)
This nine of spades from a deck of optical illusions cards that my nemesis sent me. I like this card. I see the arrows pointing upward first. That’s probably because they’re a darker colour and they’re not cut off by the edges of the square, but you may choose to interpret it as meaning I’m an optimist, because I am. Unfortunately, if you read these poems upward-first, you’ll end on a bit of a downer.
In case it’s not obvious, in each poem, the two arrows have the same lines in reverse order, with the upward-pointing one saying something generally uplifting and the downward-pointing one saying something more downcast. They’re a bit like ambigrams. The titles of the poems are the first and last words, in whichever order makes sense. They were surprisingly easy to write, but I suspect they’d be very difficult to perfect. I did not perfect them.
I thought about writing one which could be read directly across both arrows, perhaps as a dialogue between up-arrow person and down-arrow person, but didn’t end up thinking of any, and when I eventually typed them into the arrow shapes, I realised there was enough room between them that people would be unlikely to read straight across by accident.