ON THE SEA OF ICE
What dank and ageless bell,
Hung from phantom rope
In the tide’s cyclonic spell,
Drowns the wind beyond all hope;
What bay of hell at ocean’s bend,
Its ghostly music turned to haze,
Ringing in the planet’s end,
Haunts our flapping summer days;
What ancient worlds of flailing waves
Slide and improvise
With the tossing shipwrecks of our graves,
Whose vaguely human monsters rise
Like gargoyles on a roof,
Their cynic lips thrust out,
Mute, mistaken, and aloof,
Endlessly condemned to doubt
The dazzling phosphorescent shoal
Of the singing sea’s black hole.
What unconscious monsters spout from raging sleep, rattling
the sheets on a sinking bunk, ringing the blood’s bell,
lightning flashing on the bedposts?
What primal kraken erupt from dreams to whirl us to
How temptingly the flickers play around the windows,
the static whispers on the wall, the roiled pillows turn
What canopies burst from sodden understories? What
heavens breed beneath the leaves?
Water is a bursting scaffold, a skein of microscopic
In simple tides lie the ebb and flow of galaxies.
Black holes are the drains of dimensions, lined with
Behind each wave lie the errors of orbits, the precession
Novas are imploded stars; music is a collapsed prism.
Gargoyles, failed angels, sink into hell because they
cannot believe in heaven.
Early film was a negative of the world, resurrected by
Around the edges of sinking ships floats treasure.
Wormholes are windows into calmer worlds.
Music is a sandbar waiting to surface.
Hidden under any shoal is an island.
Mathematicians find worlds in numbers; musicians
build suns from notes.
We only find what we know is there.