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    poetry


    dots Submission Name: RED TIDEdots
    --------------------------------------------------------





    Author: hanuman
    ASL Info:    3 score & 10 & some!
    Elite Ratio:    5.99 - 804/1015/239
    Words: 199
    Class/Type: Poetry/Serious
    Total Views: 1351
    Average Vote:    5.0000
    Bytes: 1399



    Description:
       This is a poem which can be read on many levels. My son Michael is doing a Ph.D. in the biology of dinoflagellates. These are the microscopic marine organisms that cause planktonic blooms, otherwise known as red tides, when the whole sea can turn red with the superabundance of these creatures. Unfortunately these blooms are often extremely toxic to other forms of sea life. A friend of mine used to wear a tee-shirt emblazoned with the logo, “Don’t swim in the sea – fish fuck in it”, which is absolutely true for seawater is best considered as protoplasmic jelly absolutely choc-a-bloc with viruses, bacteria, protozoans, dinoflagellates, foraminifera, larvae, eggs and spermatozoa. So this poem could be regarded as a simple description of a red tide.
    But then up pops Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, so what is she doing in the poem. According to Greek myth When the Titan Cronus castrated his father Uranus and flung his genitals into the sea near the island of Cythera, the blood and semen caused foam to gather and float across the sea to the island of Cyprus. There, Aphrodite rose out of the sea from the foam (hence her name came from the word aphros, which means "foam”.
    I’m sure you are familiar with the famous painting by Botticelli of this event.
    As we all know man ultimately evolved from forms of life that lived in the sea, so the Ancient Greek creation myth of the birth of Aphrodite is in fact a lot closer to the truth than some other creation myths such as the Garden of Eden one.
    In the poem is the phrase “The nightly joust of the phantom of sex with the spectre of death.”
    Now don’t tell me that you haven’t fantasized about sex or dreaded death, because these are two incredibly powerful survival mechanisms that we all have. The only answer to entropy and chaos that the world has come up with is life. Non-life breaks down to ultimate disorder. Life creates order in a perpetually renewing cycle. The prime directive of life is that life must continue to exist and this is ensured by the phantom of sex and the spectre of death. The first is our sex drive which ensures that we breed and the second is our self-preservation instinct which makes sure we live to breed.
    Unfortunately for us middle aged people with grown up children, these drives have fulfilled their purpose and are but phantoms and spectres.
    In this poem you can see the contrast between cynicism and innocence. This is perhaps what being a poet means – to escape from the mundane and the cynical and even at my advanced age to have a glimpse of innocence and beauty through a briefly opened door.
    Now what is the poem really about? Well, at the Cat and Fiddle Inn in Hastings to Live Poets’ Society were invited to write poems to match certain lines we were supplied with, one of which was “her lipstick on the collar of the beach”. My poem was written to go with that challenge line and originally ended with it. I have of course since altered the ending to ensure complete originality.


    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsRED TIDEdots
    -------------------------------------------


    The wind ruffles the marram grass
    On the sand dunes by the sea.
    A bright sleepless moon
    Stares through the window of the bach.
    The insomnia of middle age yawns
    As in fitful slumber I observe
    The nightly joust of the phantom of sex
    With the spectre of death.
    Better to be awake and walking
    With such dreams abroad.
    On the beach the bright moon
    Throws ridges of sand into hard relief.
    Moonlight reflects in sharp shards
    From the surface of the glassy sea.
    I shiver in the cool breeze,
    All nightly apparitions banished
    By the hard, sharp, cold light.
    But then a mist blows in.
    A softness dimples, the focus blurs
    And for a moment the fabric
    Of reality shimmers.
    Aphrodite steps from the waves
    Radiant with beauty in paua and pearl,
    Shocking in her nudity.
    Life washes from her in floods.
    She embodies every fantasy.
    The world is forever young.
    Sensuality and innocence
    Are inextricably merged.
    Luminous arrow squids explode
    Like champagne corks
    From the sparkling water.
    A scarlet planktonic bloom
    Bursts like an artery
    And smears the tidemark of the sand
    With phosphorescent blood.
    As quickly as she came she vanishes
    Into the flat grey dawn.




    Submitted on 2009-09-18 23:45:42     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      You have a skill for descriptive writing which I envy. A lot. And an imagination which you seem to be able to render real-- I quite thoroughly believe that a Goddess appeared in your eye-line, that she was everything you described, that even the squids are celebrating her (squids and champagne bottles is a glorious turn of thought).

    Dreams and half-dreams and day-dreams and moon-dreams.

    As an insomniac, I recognise the blurring of reality which a tired mind creates, how everything is suddenly an illusion, or maybe a dream, and what is real or not real is irrelevant. Mostly because it feels like everything is real, and why should it not be?

    I quite especially like the colours here: the sand colours, the marram grass, the white, bright moon, the black sky and a black sea scattered with moonlight; and then the sudden burst of brightness with your Aphrodite, the final, blood-red end of the fantasy, all washed away by a flat grey. The movement from tone to tone, it's inspiring and evocative and it runs throughout. Makes for a tight read.

    I'm recalling a piece of writing I translated in class once- I have no idea what it is or who wrote it, but it was about the enchantments of the sick bed, how a feverish body creates such vibrant, magical delusions and images. I connected with it at the time because of what I said above about being an insomniac and reality shifting. To find that kind of idea rendered here again so well is just lovely.

    Aly
    | Posted on 2010-09-13 00:00:00 | by AlyRose | [ Reply to This ]
      I've just been reading some Bryce Courtenay books and like Em, this kind of took me into the novel setting as I read along.

    I was reading along and thinking how you should write a book and stick some of your poems in there like Tolkien.

    I'd like to do that too someday.... write some poems and stick them in one of your books so I can remember what page I'm on.

    Interestingly, this work seemed so structured as far as the short sentences and bursts of descriptive color that I couldn't tap into it, as poetry, as much as I would have liked.

    I can still sit back and admire alll the colors, and shapes of your words though. :)
    | Posted on 2009-10-01 00:00:00 | by Daniel Barlow | [ Reply to This ]
      
    Arthur,

    You're a very intriguing person. I like seeing how your mind works.

    This reads as a very vivid recount, almost like a graphic novel in its array of color and description. It makes for a very immersive and intense poem. You already went over the content quite a bit in your description, so I'm not going to go too deep into it. I particularly like your narrative, kind of the stunned reporter trying to take it all in and capture in image what cannot otherwise be captured.

    I do have one suggestion, and that is to maybe consider some stanzas? As it is now reads to long for me and with such full lines, a break here and there would aid the eye and mind. This is what I was thinking...



    The wind ruffles the marram grass
    On the sand dunes by the sea.
    A bright sleepless moon
    Stares through the window of the bach.
    The insomnia of middle age yawns
    As in fitful slumber I observe
    The nightly joust of the phantom of sex
    With the spectre of death.
    Better to be awake and walking
    With such dreams abroad.
    On the beach the bright moon
    Throws ridges of sand into hard relief.

    Moonlight reflects in sharp shards
    From the surface of the glassy sea.
    I shiver in the cool breeze,
    All nightly apparitions banished
    By the hard, sharp, cold light.
    But then a mist blows in.
    A softness dimples, the focus blurs
    And for a moment the fabric
    Of reality shimmers.

    Aphrodite steps from the waves
    Radiant with beauty in paua and pearl,
    Shocking in her nudity.
    Life washes from her in floods.
    She embodies every fantasy.
    The world is forever young.
    Sensuality and innocence
    Are inextricably merged.
    Luminous arrow squids explode
    Like champagne corks
    From the sparkling water.
    A scarlet planktonic bloom
    Bursts like an artery
    And smears the tidemark of the sand
    With phosphorescent blood.

    As quickly as she came she vanishes
    Into the flat grey dawn.

    ...just a suggestion. Also thought the ending as couplet gives a nice focus.

    Always a pleasure.
    | Posted on 2009-09-30 00:00:00 | by Lady of Shalott | [ Reply to This ]
      Wow! This is perhaps one of the pieces with the richest array of images i have read thus far! Your description, although a bit long complements the poem wonderfully and the poem itself is a masterpiece in my opinion. There is absolutely nothing i can say to counter the beauty of what has been said here, each line hits like a powerful little hammer! Damn. Wonderful work, i am in admiration indeed. Thanks for sharing such wondrous expressions.

    :-)

    -Svw
    | Posted on 2009-09-25 00:00:00 | by Clayman | [ Reply to This ]


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