Lines Written under Thirteen Thousand Pounds per Square Inch
Deepwater Horizon Spill
The ink from within has plumed through mile deep water,
festoons the reeds and fishes, turtles and birds
with iridescent pearls of smotheration.
Under such force a single tentacle of ink
escapes the gravity of glued pelicans
to narrate the tale of the looping aircraft
brought down by a cloud of monarchs,
how they soften the landing
on a plain alive with tarantulas on the move
like a black tide lacquering a marsh.
Another stream through many moons recounts
the breathing chords of a winged colony
in solemn hibernation, invokes the force
behind the dark, sweeping waves
of their hundreds of thousands awakening
to spill into summer night,
their harpsichord wires of echolocation
pinging beetles and mosquitoes.
Viscousness is welling under all of this.
A brush of cougar’s tail is dipped
in its pooling wake to paint the shirt
for the reborn ghost dance,
stripes around the wailing throat,
bluebirds at the breast, bows & arrows arcing
over shoulders, bison stamped on the back,
snakes of lightning down the leggings,
blueshifting pigment of the dusk
smearing cheekbones, black crescent moon
forehead trance tattoo.
Donald Levering’s most recent poetry book is Whose Body published in 2007 by Sunstone Press. My previous poetry books include The Kingdom of Ignorance (Finishing Line Press), The Fast Of Thoth (Pudding House), Horsetail (Woodley Press), The Jack Of Spring (Swamp Press), Carpool (Tellus), Mister Ubiquity (Pudding House Press), and Outcroppings From Navajoland (Navajo Community College Press). In 2007, he was a featured poet in the Academy of American Poets online Forum.
2 thoughts on “LINES WRITTEN UNDER THIRTEEN THOUSAND POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH by Donald Levering”
What a powerful poem, and how nice to share this site with you! I miss Santa Fe, though, as I said in my eco-statement, I do have the ocean.
PS Love that black beret :).
Thank you, Penny. Your three poems are moving, especailly the one about the whale. Would that this site wouldn’t have been necessary.