Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Knight Is Darkest Before...


People walk through heavy rain at Times Square in New York
: photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters, 18 June 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with greeters on a rain-soaked tarmac upon landing in Jacksonville, Florida. Obama is on a two-day visit to Florida where he will hold several campaign events: photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters, 19 July 2012

Commuters dodge high wind and heavy rain during a thunderstorm in midtown Manhattan, New York: photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters, 18 July 2012


New York Mets relief pitcher Miguel Batista warms up in the rain before a baseball game between the Mets and the Washington Nationals, in Washington. photo by Alex Brandon/Associated Press, 18 July 2012

A dead fish in Mitchell Lake in the Ballard Wildlife Management Area near Barlow, Kentucky, as lack a of rain and excessive heat deplete oxygen from the water: photo by Stephen Lance Dennee/Associated Press, 18 July 2012

The exposed bottom of the Mississippi River is baked and cracked by extreme heat and lack of rain, near St. Louis. The nation's widest drought in decades is spreading, with more than half of the continental United States now in some stage of drought: photo by Robert Ray/Associated Press, 17 July 2012

Corn stalks struggling from lack of rain and a heat wave covering most of the country, Farmingdale, Illinois. The nation's widest drought in decades is spreading. More than half of the continental U.S. is now in some stage of drought, and most of the rest is abnormally dry: photo by Seth Perlman/Associated Press, 16 July 2012

Four rows of corn left for insurance adjusters to examine are all that remain of a 40-acre cornfield in Geff, Illinois. Over ten days of triple digit temperatures with little rain in the past two months is forcing many farmers to call 2012 a total loss: photo by Robert Ray/Associated Press, 16 July 2012

Corn stalks wilt and burn away at the base in dry soil after enduring weeks of extreme temperatures in Geff, Illinois. In southern Illinois many farmers are filing a total loss for 2012 and hoping they survive until the next growing season: photo by Robert Ray/Associated Press, 16 July 2012


Anonymous said...

a picture is worth a thousand words!!

Susan Kay Anderson said...

What is happening needs a
to attenuated leaving
things as they are--
absurdly must be
before August
fries North America
to a crispiness
lasting past November
please remember
the fragile
scale the blind lady
holds up

TC said...

Perhaps it's that other (long, sharp) thing she holds which suggests all this just might be some kind of preview. For her sister (the horsey one) it's now almost time time to run. From the Imax that is.

TC said...

Aurora had to run -- because, uh... "It was pretty much the end of the world"

awyn said...

Honing in on the juxtaposition of rained-upon pedestrians and those baked-earth cornfields, I didn't at first notice all the visual "signs" in that first photo. I was struck, though, not by the more obvious street and film name parallels but the circular clamp on the woman's lips in the poster to the left, which arrow points rightward where, down underneath the umbrella point, another "sea-eye" (eh?) pointing a camera, as if to say, "We're watching; watch what you say". Legends don't die all that quickly: in the link you provided, frightened witnesses were said to run frantically toward "the safety of police." Elsewhere, another witness was quoted as saying "No one is safe *anywhere* anymore" amid calls for more beefed up security, though media was quick to point out this is NOT a terrorist attack. (Just a disturbed individual with a grudge?)

storm here
drought there
fear begets uprising
dawn's tragic distraction:
the show is not a show, it's real
message seems clear
message is Fear,
need for more knights
"nowhere is safe'
Night coming, not dawn.
The joker, is he still

TC said...


Thanks for "reading" so well what's written on the invisible wall that closes in on us every day a little bit more.

Every sign a message.

Hazen said...

That banner allusion to bloody Aurora, to yet another heart-punch, is perfect in its way. Ecocide has been a mere backdrop to The Big Hustle and all the civilized noise we make to distract ourselves from the drying up and the dying out and the hundred-year floods that recur yearly. Then comes June 2012 and a two-by-four lands upside the collective head; now other ‘long sharp things’ seem ready to descend. The rattle of AK-47s in the darkness, the sound of another mind giving way . . . It’s coming all at once, and quickly.

Wooden Boy said...

My brother just sent this link across to me. It seemed to fit:

edward ainsworth said...

On immediately viewing the photos, i thought you were trying to touch soley my heart yet again, but that selfish moment passed when i thought about what mother had said about the Kilborne Farm, we may get half a crop. but that's better than what may just get plowed into the ground. as a misplaced illinois boy down in mississippi, wearing an ainsworth hat and looking like i should be in a field, (or am i in the field)the images resonate with the power and fury and make me realize as grandfather said, we are always gambling with mother nature.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Aren't the "real" wars enough?

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Corn dead
still green
America dying
before the ending
of the show
right at the start

TC said...

The song link provided by Wooden Boy's brother reminds us of an earlier Depression: Carter Family: No Depression in Heaven (1936)"...tribulation time will come, this time will hurl a midnight fear and sweep those millions to their doom..."


But that Depression ended. The one we have now is greater and more sweeping. No stunning is left unturned in the present global corporate takeover by academic-abetted industries and governments dedicated to turning the planet into space rubbish and human beings into techno-programmed media-cartoon-brainwashed megaplex-haunting gas-guzzling gun-toting zombies and neuroscience grad-school wannabe Dark Knights in full metal jackets.

How can one expect a society as numb and bodysnatched as ours to change course when it's on a swooping toboggan-run toward its own doom, with the short-term profit advantage of the very few as the only guiding vector?

Does anybody really care (unless of course it affects them directly, as in the pocketbook) that the climate patterns of Earth have been forever altered, merely so that humanoids can jump into the car any time they wish and pick up something at Safeway, mowing down innocent pedestrians as they go?

By the by, those following this story will have noted that James Holmes' AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with 100-round drum, his shotgun and his two Glock pistols were all purchased legally in the gun-lovin, fun-lovin', white suburban trash state of Colorado.

When once upon a time we mistakenly landed in that state, living up in those deathly mountains, we learned that after every Denver Broncos game pickup trucks loaded with rifle racks and cases of Coors would show up in the woods out back of us, and morons in webhats could then be seen (from hiding) unloading a hail of fire into anything that moved and wasn't human, or for that matter anything that didn't move and was available. Abandoned refrigerators with more bulletholes in them than the buildings of cities I have seen after actual wars. That's what we now recall as the local "culture" of the place.

TC said...

Annie back-channels a note suggesting we "look at patterns", and offers this very interesting link:

"He spent much of his time immersed in the computer, often participating in role-playing online games..."

"There is already conjecture that James Holmes may have been involved in mind-altering neuroscience research and ended up becoming involved at a depth he never anticipated. His actions clearly show a strange detachment from reality, indicating he was not in his right mind. That can only typically be accomplished through drugs, hypnosis or trauma (and sometimes all three)...

"If you start to look at the really big picture here, the obvious question arises: How does an unemployed medical student afford all the complex weapons gear, bomb-making gear, "flammable" booby trap devices, ammunition, multiple magazines, bullet-proof vest, groin protection, ballistic helmet, SWAT uniform and all the rest of it?

"A decent AR-15 rifle costs $1,000 or more all by itself. The shotgun and handgun might run another $800 total. Spare mags, sights, slings, and so on will run you at least another $1,000 across three firearms. The bullet-proof vest is easily another $800, and the cost of the bomb-making gear is anybody's guess. With all the specialty body gear, ammunition, booby-trap devices and more, I'm guessing this is at least $20,000 in weapons and tactical gear, much of which is very difficult for civilians to get in the first place."

For a while a shrink lived next door here, and when she moved out, her subscription copes of a journal called Behavioral Neuroscience, a journal of deeply malign grant-subsidized studies of experiments upon animals, would end up in our mailbox. Burned into the mind forever was an article with photos documenting what happens when you feed mind altering drugs to rats, drop them from a certain height onto a lab table, and see how they bounce.

BTW the farmer-poet Edward Ainsworth's testimony on the loss of the corn crop bears some weight. He comes from a long line of experts on this subject. Thus knows whereof he speaks.

"R. Clayton "Doc" Ainsworth .. was a hybrid corn breeder. He worked for Iowa State University and Funk Brothers Seed Company before founding Ainsworth Seed Company in 1941. He was the third generation of Ainsworths in seed corn production. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in 1937 and received his master's degree from the U of Illinois in 1940.

"He was a founder and past president of Soybean Research Foundation, one of the first private soybean breeding organizations, and was a former director and past president of Illinois Foundation Seeds Inc. and Illinois Crop Improvement Association..."

Elmo St. Rose said...

isness, it is,
it is not explainable
and that's when poetry
works on the invisible
if for nothing else
for comfort's sake

There's a Robinson
Jeffers poem about the
glories of a sunset at
Carmel from his tower
he also sees a woman
flogging a horse about
the head and neck
and ends the poem
paraphrasing, I am the Lord
I create Good and I create Evil.

Worth reading this weekend
of insensate massacre.

The Staple Singers
"Make a friend if you can y'all"

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

The 4th photograph says it all.

Ed Baker said...

that why they put that Skool for
Disembodied Poetics and
Center for Pop-Buddhism
in Denver ...

it s all never 100 %

Montana has it s share of red f-150 s with gun racks
so does Vermont !

the media
non-stop talking heads
spewing their pop-psychology
trying to explain cause of this/our
human-genetic bent towards
violence and reaction

& after-the fact(event) pontificationing?



Thanks for keeping our sights tuned to on what's happening 'out there . . .


light coming into fog against invisible
top of ridge, planet beside pine branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

thinking at the time, views
of paper as a vehicle

light from which, what this
itself is, that which

silver of sunlight reflected in channel
cormorants flapping across toward point

TC said...

Vassilis, that picture feels like a picture of the future. Fans will be advised to take shelter under the Concourse during the rain... of bullets? Carbonized ice particles? Nanobots??

Charlie's suggestion, so pertinent:

Staple Singers: Reach Out, Touch a Hand, Make a Friend (live)

By the by, in using the word "friend" I don't think Mavis means some dehumanized image on a video game or a Facebook page or a voice in an Iphone, a fragment of something in a Tweet bit or a text message -- that instant Fake Friending which defines social relations in our busy busy epoch and ultimately makes possible the evidently conscience-free murder of as many people as you can shoot in ten minutes. Hey, maybe those people weren't people anyway, just... what's the word again? avatars?

As for a premonitory take on the destruction of Earth by its presumed masters, another classic tune that comes to mind:

Marvin Gaye: Mercy, Mercy (The Ecology)

larry white said...

Frank Zappa & The Mothers: "No way to delay/ that trouble coming every day"

To which Mavis and Marvin responded from the heart, with or without their various Pops.

Pretty hot and dry here in SE Iowa --lots of fish killed in the Des Moines River, though elsewhere it is certainly worse. Some of us will nevertheless gather to the soulfull beat of Van and the Movers blues band in Fairfield tonight.