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"Jonah" "Jonah"
by Jan Sand
2008-02-24 10:00:37
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Having survived past the teeth
And tumbled, confused, in panic
Down the slimy throat beneath,
I now reside in this organic

Heaving place of strange smells
Divorced from stormy seas
(No different from monks in cells
Sequestered, bereft of keys).

Far below where digestions ensue,
Strange soft wet sounds are made
Which offers me the clue
It's a place I should evade,
Full of destructive chemistries.
I will hang my hat up here
And avoid the organic mystery
That keeps this whale in gear.

I must, of necessity, subsist
On seaweed and raw fish -
Not much else. This is the gist
Of my nourishment. I would wish,
At least once more, to taste
A crust of dry fresh bread.
This seems of small chance.
I must exercise my jaws, be fed
Upon whatever that huge maw grants.

Within these soft pulsating walls
I live by touch in dark gloom.
Sometimes faintly, I hear seabird calls.
I have small future to presume.
I sketch my thoughts on black designed.
I wonder on a Deity who could
Drop me to dark dungeon consigned.
Have I been so thoroughly ungood?

Ah well! I wonder now my destination.
Will I live my life whale encased,
Chewing octopus in endless mastication?
Or shall I tumble inward to be erased
And incorporated into this beast,
No more to view tilled fields and the sky.
I would hope my God would grant, at least,
His reasons for this grotesque end. Please, why?

    
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Emanuel Paparella2008-02-24 14:44:35
The quote from Bolitho is reminiscent of the quip in Bernano's Diary of a Country Priest: is your ranting motivated by pity for the poor or envy of the rich? Only an authentic poet can tell the difference. The same applies to reality and appearances as Plato exemplified with this myth of the cave. The cave there is a metaphor and the mouth of a whale can do as well...


Sand2008-02-25 08:16:58
Was it not Plato who forbade the presence of poets in his ideal Republic?


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