On Ishmael: Harrison Hayford’s “Loomings”
…a young man who never rests content with merely adequate explanation, who regards every purpose, action, and object as a puzzle to be pondered over and researched by all possible tools—by systematic repeated examinations, by shedding whatever physical cross-lights he can, by inquiring of aged inhabitants, by swimming through libraries, always brooding and speculating, until a provisionally acceptable conclusion occurs to him.”” —Hershel Parker - Forward of 150th Edition of Moby Dick or The Whale, Herman Melville.
And everything that is now already existed then, but
in condensed form.
Our days already existed and our hearts baked
in the blazing stove,
And the moment when I met you may also have existed,
and my mistrust
Brittle as a faience plate, and my faith, no less frail
And my searches for the final answer, my
disappointments and discoveries.
Great ships: some sunk suddenly, arousing consciences
Gaining deathless fame, becoming stars
of special bulletins.
Others went peacefully, waned without a word in provincial
ports, in dockyards,
Beneath a coat of rust, a ruddy fur of rust, a slipcover of rust,
For the final transformation, the last judgment of souls and
They wait as patiently as chess players in Luxembourg Garden
nudging pieces a fraction of an inch or so.” —Great Ship by Adam Zagajewski
Across the broad and barren sky,
The clouds revolve and tremble;
Turgid tempest blossoms nigh,
Where rage and wrath assemble.
Through lust and mediocrity,
Mankind fell ill to feeling;
There sullen sought monstrosity,
Left man and kindred reeling.
Then storm on darkened gables drew,
As turbid gales persist,
In districts blood and bleating knew,
Where swords rest cold in fists.
So silence veiled the lost remains,
And nature ceased to stir;
The slain deluged the streets and lanes,
Where frigid drafts abjure.
And somewhere in a city square,
A squire wrote in blood,
Upon a pristine wall left there,
Whose sermon looms above:
In every square of land and plain,
The story read the same;
Tempest high and lowly maimed,
Till only grace remained.” —Alex Carroll
The sacred quality
of arms, particularly
elbows that make
each of us working class,
put us here for a purpose.
Look at elbows
and what they say:
elbow your way
into the passive crowd
to do what is needed,
give it your elbow grease —
this is enough.
Elbows, no one can
possess them because
they can disappear and
you move them
into action by choice.
And that choice
is prayer in action.
The deepest current of love
is not found in the heart.
That is the certain spring,
the natural ease, the flow
from the mountaintop.
The greatest current of love
rushes forward in the choice
to make a cradle of the body.