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  • Opus

    Not a Greek would risk or Drake encroach along
    this main; alone, a lost pilgrim, or
    bristling with empire, a body
    as easily founders here as in ocean’s welter -

    ... boated, though, on this plane of monsters:

    (sawtooth backbones graze the bow)

    no bestiary lists or taxon latins their breed;
    their brimful eyes in comet knotwork
    trace an under-heaven afore.


    to steer takes madding shift, from fixed above
    to seethed below, and back: forever nodding.

    To cease is their call to strike, and the leap
    of eely hunt from deep to daylight
    will scatter the plied surface, rip the keel

    to drift of paper.

  • #2
    Readers may recognise that this poem incorporates a version of a piece I posted recently named 'Boat-brained'. I have tinkered with that original significantly here, and given it a different spin.
    Last edited by grant hayes; 09-27-2018, 07:53 PM.


    • #3
      I like the original piece but I like the new introductory stanza you've added; it sort of grounds the piece and lets the reader know for sure it is an ocean tale! Well done as always grant hayes


      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Rhymeboy, it is indeed an ocean tale ... and it isn't. The 'main' in question is ocean-like in its perils, yet other than an actual ocean. The most accessible clues to what this maritime metaphor represents are in the heading and the last line

        Thank you for going to the trouble of comparing the two pieces and thinking about what you like. Much appreciated!

      • Muttado1sb
        Muttado1sb commented
        Editing a comment
        Heading and last line... A certain penguin from the comic Bloom County, so dreams and an anxiety closet? ;-)

    • #4
      I remember. The imagery is really intense, and such movement there. I get a better sense of what you meant, yeah, after reading the other one and pondering it as I have. I think "sawtooth backbones" is my favorite phrase here, it fits in with the elements of the poem, a certain tenebrosity, and I in some ways relate the poem to the spirit acting // and poetry. And then the end is a really conclusive thing, lots of movement in the poem ends with that image "to drift of paper".
      Last stanza into the final line reminds me of light's motion, if we could ever really see it
      Actually now that interp, for me, seems to fit really well: "light".
      Last edited by amenOra; 09-27-2018, 07:45 AM.


      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        You've intuited the metaphorical nature of the poem with your typical acuity, amenOra. I like the 'spirit acting // and poetry' angle you mention. Thank you for engaging!

    • #5
      Opus- Opuss -Oh Puss what a mess
      Of a mouse
      Guts on carpet
      In my house
      As you purr
      I spot the tail
      All that's left
      Escape fail

      Sorry that was possibly my biggest ever tangent. I remember the other poem but what I like about this is the inventiveness and putting it in context. You see to be enjoying your poetry and that is great


      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Hahahahaha, that is a fine tangent indeed, Parkinsonspoet

        This 'Opus' piece I've come up with probably falls short as a communication, but I like the music of it as it stands.

    • #6
      Hello grant, This is extraordinary, like map reading, one of those mariners maps of yore, of the Spanish Main and the like. Little drawings of fierce looking sea monsters ( no bestiary lists or taxon latins their breed) with such captions as, 'Thar be dragons', 'Perilous waters', where timbered behemoths of sail and rope have been crushed to pulp. The whole poem is one of peril and your language is most poetic, quaint like (madding, welter, afore) and so befitting the images you magnificently portray. The courage of those open water adventurers to sail the tempestuous thalassic planes, unbeknownst to them what lurks beneath, would shiver one's timbers indeed. A masterly composed verse, I must say. Fond regards, Tony.


      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, Tony, there are (inadvertent) quaintnesses in this, which, highlighted, seem even more quaint. I believe 'afore' is still used in nautical parlance, but 'madding' and 'welter' are out of the antiques cupboard, to be sure. I agree with you that such diction suits the old world thalassic imagery, though I was not intent on achieving that. The piece can be read on two levels, as a sort of distilled 'here be dragons' vignette, and as a metaphor for the creative process, writing in particular. Thank you for your ebullient response; it's a joy to read your eloquence!

    • #7
      There is a visceral quality to your work,

      that spurs the reader to inhabit the subject matter.

      That first stanza sets the stage for what is to come, a crescendo of strain and vigor.

      I often find both literal and metaphorical meaning in your work.

      Here, the notion of lonely pilgrimage or bristling empire.

      Are we fatalistic or optimistic?


      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        Dwayne, there are indeed both literal and metaphorical meanings in this piece, as you point out. I'd suggest the 'visceral' quality you identify may be due to the fact that I favour simple words with one or two syllables, and that I often set a piece in the immediacy of present observation. These factors make for a certain terseness, which I try to make musical through devices. Perhaps, at times, there is too much musicality and not enough emotional/topical insight.

      • grant hayes
        grant hayes commented
        Editing a comment
        As an exercise in analysis, I thought I'd isolate the verbs that appear in the poem:
        risk, encroach, founders, graze, lists, latins, trace, watch, steer, nodding, cease, strike, scatter, rip

        Most of them have one syllable, and most are emphatic in tone; perhaps that accounts somewhat for the 'visceral quality'.

        The adjectives (including participles) have a certain physicality:
        alone, lost, bristling, boated, sawtooth, brimful, comet, madding, fixed, seethed, eely, plied
        Last edited by grant hayes; 09-27-2018, 08:48 PM.

    • #8
      I like your new opening and concluding lines - they intensify the meaning from the first piece, which I also enjoyed.


      • #9
        This to me this is like tumultuous life or the ocean with its calmness and ferocity. I liked it Grant. It made me feel the anxiety and appreciative of calmness although saddened by the drifting paper.


        • #10
          I hear music, a concert with a fine first violin. I can't place the tune, not being very knowledgeable of classical music, but it feels a strenuous piece, as is the poem telling of it, to my ear. Bravo, grant!


          • #11
            I don’t really think what the meaning of this poem is at first is. But later after reading this poem with all that depth I finally know its meaning and yes, it’s quite interesting and meaningful like this and thanks a lot for sharing with all your love and efforts.
            Last edited by MikeMax3; 06-27-2019, 08:41 AM.


            • #12
              Glad to see Grant's work back at the top of the queue. Where is he? Any poets in touch?