are become docked shapes
of boats she once sailed upon
to bright new destinies…now
map faded… worn by creasing
in her recollection…she slips
to berths where rope line
thought does tie and knot its
fastening to ports with landings
where she breathes memory of pipe
aroma sweet with leaf tobacco and
supple tan of ample leather chairs and
deep startle thrilling laughter and
lightning quickness change of mood and
now… they tug her moorings
much as foghorns locate place
for sailing…they define her sheltering
Whale death lay glistening in tons pushed
to shore by high tides of sea’s mightiness to
display new status…one realm to another.
‘Twas of no interest except to scavengers–
at the sandy demarcation of sea to land,
and to shore walkers drawn to the raw
morbidity of a decaying flesh profusion
in that great leviathan.
Stench blew variable, yet mostly back to
sea…as if respectful of the polite society
group-knotted … mostly silent…awed by
rigor mortis on such tremendous scale.
One alone recorded the event. He brushed
the scene to canvas…kept his distance…
had to…for the gaining of perspective
of worlds colliding with such diffidence.
The painting hung admired in galleries
until years later…a critic, over sensitive,
stroked green white waves to overlap
the dread embarrassment of……whale.
Artwork by Hendrick van Anthonissen
“View of Scheveningen Sands” 1641
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