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Tuesday 20 July 2010



File:Liquid lakes on titan.jpg

As the probe doors slide open
upon another limited view
the brown timothy
and thinning deer grass
a partial vision
of paradise through
a narrow aperture
a half revealed place
less solid than shadowed
real than imagined
light than dark
the ancient dusky river
along whose banks the wood
doves have stopped singing
beyond lie rank
acres of faded goldenrod
in the flowerless forest

File:Two Gannets edit 2.jpg

Liquid methane lakes on Titan: photo from Cassini probe by NASA/JPL/USGS, 2006 (NASA)

Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus), Bonaventure Island, near Perce, Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec: photo by Al Wilson, 2006


Curtis Roberts said...

There’s an expression of agreement or assent you sometimes hear in Quaker meetings that goes “the Friend speaks my mind”, which in the cases of Apeture and Arc I would modify to say “the friend sees what I am seeing”. Lately I’m getting my partial view of paradise through the apertures of the Inferno, 2001: A Space Odyssey and my own heat-stopped-down mind, which, encountering daily as it does, the lying cross-talk that is television news, has me feeling jammed, discontent and continually worried.

I’ve rarely seen anything as stylish and beautiful as that methane carpet on Titan, a real Hollywood-out-of-Paris fashion show image. But the Texas A&M College of Geosciences stories yesterday about the extinction event methane levels in parts of the Gulf of Mexico (the stories have now disappeared from the web) and the slow, controlled dripping of ever worsening news reporting from the mainstream media and the toothless retreat of some of the environmental groups who originally covered the Gulf of Mexico disaster with a great deal of energy and focus, convinces me that things are worse than they seem, if that’s possible.

The Northern Gannets are fabulous.



Thanks for these words and glimpses of such earthly and other worldly things -- red, blue, the beautiful white gannets. . . .


first grey light in fog against invisible
ridge, blue jay calling from pine branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

isolated as has been claimed,
recognize the beginning

chosen to be about the other,
under discussion, plane

blue-white of sky reflected in channel,
wingspan of gull flapping toward point

gamefaced said...

aperture is a lovely word. and so is this post.

Curtis Roberts said...

Steve's poem this morning makes a very fine companion to Apeture and lines 4-7, inclusive, really wake and stir me up.

TC said...

Thank you very much Curtis, Stephen, gamefaced.

My two thoughts of the century to date:

1. Framing changes everything.

2. Every view is partial.

Curtis Roberts said...

I've always loved Bryan Ferry's lyric to the Roxy Music song Editions Of You, which goes:

"Well I’m here looking through an old picture frame/Just waiting for the perfect view/I hope something special will step into my life/
Another fine edition of you".

As you said, framing changes everything; every view is partial.

I'm pretty sure I have no 21st century thoughts to pass along, but I've seen some interesting new things like the cantaloupe plant on my terrace who has now attached itself to three adjacent pots of vegetables and flowers.

Curtis Faville said...

The bird heads are like animate snow.

TC said...

Curtis R,

Are you sure that canteloupe plant is not a genetically modified Triffid?

Curtis F,

This sounds like an ancient East Asian poem. Probably too many syllables for Reginald Blyth though.

Two gannets --