[lit-ideas] Re: Sunday Poem

there's a new york painting by john sloan
called the wake of the ferry
the first one
he made two
it reminds me of woolwich
in which grey place my sister was born
i think i may have been taken there for occupation
when my mother was pregnant
a free ferry
might be good for the boy
give him something to inspect
the churning of opaque opal-esque waters

do hold his hand though
make sure he doesn't fall in
you know how he goes
head heavy

sloan's waters are sea shades
but you can't tell
there's little black or white
all ghostly

today its memory was blown away
as i watched seattle ferry people inspect under cars and try to look officious in shorts
as officious as anyone with knees like that can be
they were not hot
they were looking for whatnot


it was a brilliant day
sun sparkling on the waters
doing those dance moves the sun does sometimes
very disco
very high seventies
low eighties

seattle rose like manhatten turned around
bumping
infused with blues
glorious various
colors within blue
with other early morning hues
doing some kind of chorus thing
as at an armory show
in harmony
but as far from barbershop
as spiky can get

oh boy seattle
usually so grey
this morning
this morning
approached from the west by people who
mostly haven't a clue about virgin births
for the first time in twenty years
knocked me for six
a lovely boundary

grey lining though to all this silver
lurking in the heat
mussels gorged on toxic plankton cling
to creosote pier piles they're now replacing with steel
the jagged wet edge of a red tide
which suckers immigrants and the unwary
and destroys brain cells or kills

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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