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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Sunday, December 2, 2012




This is my pregnant daughter Alyssa.  I posed her in front of my two paintings that were inspired by the discovery of the “God Particle” (or Higgs Bosun field). 

Two poems today.  The first poem I have been revising for a while.  Perhaps I am seeking absolution for spending so much of my life in “resource extraction industries” like King crab fishing in the Bering sea and logging the high country?  

There is still work to be done on these words, any criticism would be appreciated, much obliged.



The last Supper

The last whale comes to a dead stop
Waft, floating
And not hearing her song return to her
She lies still gray silent
Not accusing her maker for her circumstance
Even the last whale song is beautiful

Watching us from the beginning
Bobbing on the surface,
Splashing, laughing, crying, dying
Not Standoffish at all, for ones so small
Though it turns out that the entire ocean was
Not big enough

Technically speaking
We won’t know for sure when the last whale dies
The whale-killers will return from the sea empty handed
Another venture will be written off as
A loss on the balance sheets
The ships will be refitted to 
Hunt penguins or starfish or angels

Eventually, a marine biologist or 
Responsible government agency
Someone with authority
Simply states the obvious, ‘they are all gone,’ dead
Then it’s back to business as usual
Some family in Osaka or Haugesund will look up from their plates
Saying ‘had we known, we would have savored it all the more!’

One day the gods will come to notice how quiet earth is
No clamor of war, no prayers for more
And after seeing no lights on at night for awhile
Or being annoyed by harpooning rocket bursts they 
Will say something like, “Well, now when did that happen?’

Obliged.



Rapture

It’s always come easy to me
Thinking about death
I’m every bit afraid as a sinner should be
More than the sky gives me credit for

Part of it is the waiting game
Part is having my number just come up
Whatever can die aught to be called by name
In the vernacular of it’s own life

I would opt for a rapture every Jubilee year
Rather than one big fandango at the end
We need the space and there are people I miss
For some even three days seems an eternity

Mathematically the figures don't add up
We can see to the edge of infinity
Too calculate any farther might be blasphemy
But I’d like to take a crack at it from another angle

The sheer volume of the past is staggering
But the angel of history is not the same as
The angels of death
Only our time-pieces make it seem so

Weary virgins trim their wicks
The watchers seek the sign of Jonas
Far from the sea a pearl comes to light in a plowed field
Vows were made but never kept

We were promised:
‘after the first death there would be no other’
That’s what comes of listening to poets
Without them everything could be what it seems
Instead of all these literalists coming to a tragic end

Obliged.

5 comments:

  1. I might be tempted to avoid the I imagine in the setup. Make the last whale a future reality, leaving no room to dismiss the vision as over-alarmist.

    Maybe without accusation for her maker (the more solid nouns the stronger.



    The idea of S4 is good but could be sharpened and pared down.

    Seems like the they pronoun in the second stanza could find something more colorful from whaleness itself rather than just they.

    Fine ending.

    Peace to you Daniel.
    You know the drill with poetry. Keep any comments that help, chum the rest.

    Andrew


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Andrew, it is so helpful to have criticism (why do good critiques always seem so obvious after they are pointed out by someone else?). I am posting the revised poem below. I implemented most all the changes you suggested except the one about “not accusing” I just like the tone of it and was not satisfied with any other tense or configuration...yet. Also, I agree about the beginning of S2 but the best I could come up with was just to pare it down to “Watching.” It’s ambiguous who is watching but I’m fine with that. I’m going to give it another look over though. Most of the poetry I write is usually in the form of more experimental, ‘new writing,’ ‘language poetry,’ ‘concrete poetry’ etc. but I thought this more mainstream form would appeal to more folks that I know. Any suggestions for the other two poems would be appreciated, obliged.


      The last Supper

      The last whale comes to a dead stop
      Waft, floating
      And not hearing her song return to her
      She lies still gray silent
      Not accusing her maker for her circumstance
      Even the last whale song is beautiful

      Watching us from the beginning
      Bobbing on the surface,
      Splashing, laughing, crying, dying
      Not Standoffish at all, for ones so small
      Though it turns out that the entire ocean was
      Not big enough

      Technically speaking
      We won’t know for sure when the last whale dies
      The whale-killers will return from the sea empty handed
      Another venture will be written off as
      A loss on the balance sheets
      The ships will be refitted to
      Hunt penguins or starfish or angels

      Eventually, a marine biologist or
      Responsible government agency
      Someone with authority
      Simply states the obvious, ‘they are all gone,’ dead
      Then it’s back to business as usual
      Some family in Osaka or Haugesund will look up from their plates
      Saying ‘had we known, we would have savored it all the more!’

      One day the gods will come to notice how quiet earth is
      No clamor of war, no prayers for more
      And after seeing no lights on at night for awhile
      Or being annoyed by harpooning rocket bursts they
      Will say something like, “Well, now when did that happen?’

      Obliged.

      Delete
    2. Hey Daniel. I am strongly opinionated regarding poetry but also a poet so I am totally at ease with being disagreed with or completely blown-off.
      Glad if you feel the comments helped a bit. With the rapture poem I think the poem is in the final four stanzas, from mathematically on.

      The turn of angle/angel interests me but i am still thinking about it.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete