Sunday, October 21, 2012

Apothesion of the Ocean IX

The Great Peace


It is a fiction to divide the arts and sciences, for both are two sides of the same coin, and both must work to be conduits of enlightenment to humankind. Dedicated to Nadya.


I stand upon the calm and sunny edge

of ocean, where continent of sea meets

its complement in land, the waters lightly

lapping upon the sandy gravel. The little

waves are pushed by light, delightful breeze

cooling and refreshing in the sun, playing

about my face and hair with cheerful chase.

But I feel this one breath as if speak with

double force, one slower and more constant,

the second faster and more variant, and as

they whip about me in sweet dance, I stand

as if mast and hull and spread my mind as sail

upon the sea far beyond the reach of eye.


There both are magnified to dread or

powerful wind, and they seem to toss

the tiny skiff, as if one in jest and other

in direction of far-off land, as if in contest

of command over this particle of life. One

is history and humanity, shaped by past,

known, unknown, yet fixed in stone,

one course and one pilot preferring

through journey. The second is science

and sphere of nature, so changing and

untamed as if violent, demanding five

attendants by vastness of fickleness.

Thus one pushes port and second sucks

starboard, as they race in endless circle,

the slower lost by swifter long ago.


Skipper stays in desperate calm, tense

with coming clash of force unstoppable

and object immovable – a dreadful squall

to wipe him and ship into the ocean sea.

Crew and captain surrender to divine

lieutenants, hoping that obedient humility

to what seems chance with interest invoke

upon these awesome breaths. Strange,

as if they mind in spirit had, the faster

caught the slower far ahead, trodding

past where the swifter would walk

corrected, and they made peace

with each other, seeing true trek

of first and swiftness of the second.

Thus mixing two, they wheeled back

to ship abandoned, enticed by frail

and almost false concord, as man

of letters and man of science hid

in fear and hostility by danger

tempered. And coming with light

step, one to push the raffee, one

to guide the keel, as if two hands

together touched the helm with ease,

the men forgot their tiny excellence

in ignorance of this new science and art,

which traced so far and daring loxodrome

upon the unknown globe of blue fields.


Both sat as scribe and judge, as mate

alongside wheel: all had right to sacred

quarterdeck as pupils of Lord’s angel,

sent at last to exchange the talents

hoarded by greed and selfish comfort

that to darkness threw the Earth so long

ago commanded to be crawled upon and

wondered. Thus again reduced to student

they matched and conquered themselves,

scientist-artist, artist-scientist: gentlemen all.

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