prophets in the mud

prophets in the mud


1979, Newfoundland…2010, Gulf of Mexico


is it too late for surrender?


as a boy i stand

on the belly of a pilot whale,

a hundred or more

stretching the shore 

of  point au gaul.


these shards of night carried in

by the slow, cold hands of the atlantic.


billowing black sheets of sorrow.

were they crying to the deaf

or had they simply resolved ‘it’s not worth it’,

and come to lie their heaviness down

on this shore of darkness?


there is as much opportunity

for failure

as there is for success.

both come.


and the blood of  black death

dances on the surf

again.


the dark liquid of ingenuity

washes feathers and scales

and seeps deep into

the shells and the sand.


a pungent ink

is scrawling damnations

on the backs of the innocent.


yet, it’s one small stitch

in a growing fabric of capability.


we’re as blameless in this

as are the bizarre choices of nature. 


mitigate losses: move on.


is it too late to throw arms in the air?

do we march toward the beach

and lie down?

do we let our children console themselves

with the belief we’re merely resting

and soon we’ll swim

back out to sea?


get in the car. go home.

the whales have finished singing.


there is a shadow

crawling the length of our shore.


from salt/ /water

william t marshe

NeoPoiesis Press, 2015




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