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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Floating in Clouds on the Floor of the Sky


Palms, grasslands and termite mounds in La Gran Sabana, Guyana Highlands, Venezuela: photo by Poco a poco, 15 November 2007

Twin huge basaltic massifs float in thin air misted with drifting wisps of cloud above the sprawling floor of the world;
beneath, in unseen subterranean passages of the Great Savanna, a vast unpunctuated sentence in the form of indecipherable code,
an encyclopedia of the scattered colonies' decentralised, self-organised swarm-intelligence structures
was once said to have been found, fixed as stick-images upon the walls of detritus systematically distributed all through the subterranean mazes of principal tunnels,
secondary byways, factory burrows and burial warrens; this code remains now forever hidden from all devices of analysis, thus illegibly memorialising
in complicated and mysterious numerologies the lost civilization-histories and microbial-community orders of long-since-dispersed dynasties of pre-neuronic beings
that may have once occupied these numberless abandoned surface termite mounds.

File:Roraima3 (79).JPG

Clear morning at Mount Roraima, as seen from the road leading there from Paraitepuy Pemon community, in La Gran Sabana, Venezuela: photo by Paolostefano 24 December 2010

La Gran Sabana, Guyana Highlands, Venezuela
: photo by Inti, 9 December 2008

Savanna grassland with termite mounds in La Gran Sabana, Estado Bolívar, Venezuela
: photo by Fev, December 1979


ACravan said...

I love the title of this piece and the way the simple grandeur of language and images of the first lines develop into something that might be used as a (very eloquent) treatment for a good X-Files episode. And, as is the case there, I both want to and do believe. The four photographers’ images are all terrific. The final one of the approximately infinite-seeming termite hills, which clearly extend out of frame, is just amazing, as are the blues, greens and browns. Love the word “sabana”. Curtis

TC said...

I too believe, Curtis. But the busy termites, do they care a fig for our credence? There are more of them there are of us. In the boards beneath my feet I can hear them gnawing away.

They are as infinite in number as their infinite-seeming hills.

I like the marks of "low quality image" in that eerie bottom shot. Lens specks I expect. Still, speaking of believing -- I can and do believe those specks are flying insects swarming above the Savanna.

This area of the three-corners conjunction of Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil is inhabited (sparsely) by the indigenous Pemon people.

Perhaps they can make out the meanings and histories secreted in those quiet roarings from beneath the ground.



Yes, more of them than there are of us -- more ants here (in the house, can't hear them gnawing away at
under my feet but see them crawling around across the floor, up the walls, on the ceiling, in the bed --and they bite! How many clear mornings did we have before the endless fog came back (three?), rain now on the way?


light coming into fog against invisible
top of ridge, black of leaves on branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

simply by means of works in
black ink, variations

far from, going toward what
would be, and becomes

grey white of fog against top of ridge,
cormorant flapping across toward point

TC said...

The rain came and went between bits of this conversation, Steve, but something tells me it'll be back.

Speaking of "I'll be back...", I recall once reading that for saying those three lines, in fact his only three lines, in The Terminator, Arnold Schwarznegger "earned" something in the neighborhood of $13 million per word. And that's a pretty nice neighborhood.

Whereas, speaking of neighborhoods, it seems both yours and ours are more than a bit buggy.

The timbers and floors of this old house, and indeed virtually every nook and cranny in it, are home to some sort of small but not too small to be seen black bugs, which now and then crawl out and say hello and then disappear back into the wood. There are more of them than there are us by a factor of at least 10,000x.

I believe they are trying to tell us something.