Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ahab and Ishmael

Truth moves in the world
like a whale in the deepest ocean.
Its song echoes to the surface
astonishing mariners.

You can be Ahab. You can be Ishmael
(so-called). Lead the bloodthirsty pursuit,
follow as best you can-- or step aside,
be content to watch for spume from shore
and sometimes glimpse a fluke rising
breaking the reflective surface of reality
a reminder of deep waters. Or make your own way--
jump overboard, sink or swim.
Dragged under in the white whale's wake
you learn to breathe salt like a drowning man.

6 comments:

Jill said...

I guess I'll have to jump into the action with the strengh of the ocean!!

julia said...

'Its song echoes to the surface
astonishing mariners.'

Lovely! This poem is gorgeous.

Missy said...

I love this poem! It's one that I'll want to revisit often to see if I can find something new with each reading. Thanks for sharing!

Ann said...

Beautiful poem. "and sometimes glimpse a fluke rising/ breaking the reflective surface of reality/ a reminder of deep waters." Lovely.

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

A reminder of deep waters.

I like that. :)

artpredator said...

that is the dilemna, eh? ishmael or ahab...

thanks! i esp liked the last 2 lines