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  Mar 2017 Catalysten Rounthwaite
L B
Black, Swiss cheese hulk on horizon
The James Longstreet
immobile old freighter of the bay

Towed to the ignominy
of its last commission
in the curled arm of The Cape
Tides flex their muscles against it
But The Longstreet is steadfast
in its dark purpose

Standing target for practice

A sortie if planes home in on its bulk
Honing their skills
on this  “fish-in-a-barrel”
Thunderhead-etched pyrotechnics
Booming follows the miles over water

Against The Longstreet’s silhouette enduring
even God fixes sights
firing bolts across its bow
taking aim at our futures

Standing targets for practice

Vietnam? Cape Cod?
No difference to teens
before life’s ocean of conscription

Sand is cold beneath dunes
Beach grass rustles
to the pulsing surf
to the wind’s whispers
just below hearing
as if there’s a secret
that must be kept

We are targets for practice
We are meaningless din

Pulling our sweatshirts and blanket closer
The Supremes sing thinly
from transistor
“Stopped for a moment in the name of love—

Thinking it over”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p38khYKxqLI

The Target Ship has now disintegrated into a sunken reef and sanctuary for ocean wildlife.  The above video is a cool tour complete with perfect music. Enjoy.
I love stone. Don't you?
We forget ourselves for
a moment when we stand
beneath
a mountain. A true experience
of a mountain makes us
feel small, which is right.
Because we are. But
we only forget for a moment,
really less than a minute, and
soon we cast about for a little
sharp-edged rock to carve our
names into the cliffside.

Once, a person lost
their faculty for emotion.
That turned out alright, though.
He wasn't ever sad.

But it was sad. It was tragic.
Because we listen to our
little voices, and grind our names
haphazardly into the rock,
and it's really very silly
to try to be immortal. Even mountains
know that. And we live
with these very silly
voices drumming all the time in our heads,
and we think that's us.

We think that those voices are us.

And that person? The tragedy
is, I don't know if he ever gets
to be corrected. Do mountains
interrupt him? To forget ourselves
for a moment beneath a mountain.
Does he ever get the chance to ask:
Why do we forget ourselves,
anyways? Who is it that made us pause?
The mountain? It didn't move.
Our little voices? Ha!

It's something else. Something powerful.
It shuts up your internal monologue,
and in those moments, you are at your
most agile, most eloquent, most true.
On stage. In a sport. When you read
a set of words that hold power to change
your life. Does it have a name? It has many.
"Soul" is only one of them.

And that person? Yes, it's sad.
But ask yourself this: you've seen
your mountains. They made you
step back. I know they did. There
was an instant that your little voices
were completely, utterly hushed.

That moment happens, and it's
entirely out of your control. The
next moment is truly up to you.

So what do you do? Take a picture?
Carve your name into a rock?
Libraries: lots of books,
but not an easy place to learn.
Indeed, the texts are tenets
that pin it down
and fix it so we can point and say
"there is where we worship knowledge."

We humans so love
to build shelters
where our hearts may safely gather dust.

But breathe deeply,
and plunge into the sun.
Or is it the river that shines so brightly?
It's sleepy-warm out,
but the water is cold
and perpetual wonderment is the humblest profession.

'Tis wisest to remember
that we know next to nothing!
Only then do we dare to walk the edge
of our outermost circles,
our most cherished philosophies
which encompass all our virtue and vice.
And only then do we dare to circumscribe it all,
putting our trust in our present being
instead of the prescription that our Past has written for us.

Our cherished morals, our good conscience,
are part of a bigger picture.
Take the next step
when the light flashes across your mind.
Shuck your previous assumptions
like the shackles they are
and embrace the new saving grace.

And watch. It fixates itself.
And then we pin it down and point and say
"there."
"there is what we worship, no more no less."

And then. O, and then!
It will be your turn to take my hand and say:
breathe deeply,
and plunge into the sun.
There's never been a better day
to break away.

Us folks never rise so high
as when we do not know where we are going.
It is a midsummer storm, and the air is textured like heavy cream
warm and thick and sweet. It hasn't yet began to rain, and bare toes
grasp clods of dust, the kind with root fibers tangled inside,
and everything  is keenly sensed: the smell, the taste, the touch,
the sound of the wind and the warmth in this charged moment.

It is impossible to not be humbled before these grey clouds,
massive structures that remind you of the roiling turbidity of silt
at the bottom of a river, freshly disturbed by a fish's tail
- except these grey giants, these clouds feel infinitely large.
Humbled, yes.

And powerful: the little human on the parched earth
feels vigor pumping through veins,
a feeling typically beyond recollection
that is difficult to trace to its source.
Where is this power flowing from? Not from some
deluded sense that this small mammal could shift
a single bead of moisture in the sky, no;
where is this power flowing to? Its effect is . . . unplanned,
it is spontaneous in nature, even though it feels so rooted
that no-one, certainly not you, could move it.

This power? The source is invisible, the fate uncertain.

The purpose? Take note. This is faith:
to be so confronted by reality that your inner monologue
forgets to stay in a continuous loop; at last, you hear your part
in a greater melody; to concentrate
on something outside the ceiling of your skull.

Reality will only be itself.
Either project your attention outwards to trust the truth,
or blind yourself with anxiety.

The power you feel inside the storm does not belong to you,
it belongs to the Greater Picture. But, the choice is always yours:
hide away, or raise your face. the   rain
    begins
          to             fall.
Praise to whom, you ask?
Give enough faith
   strike a fulc-
*** for a balanced rack:
shift all the mass
   and the *****? It's an arduous tack --
Have you clutched a spring,
  felt the choke in the wire ring?
It is smoke to my throat-tight and tears.

Look: all the weight
   all the trust that I've fishing-cast
on a Man who's not a man,
  who is more than that.
For the love that's agape and
  that's flooding past
with no end-sign in sight.

It's Him whose advice
  that I pivot towards
like a rod guiding light
  guiding lightning fo'ards
But for once, though I list;
like some empty gourds
   I'm alack, lack-a-days.

God, I've a Führer, I'm a furious
man, with a shame, and a love
that I can't I just
can't
I'm in love
but it's broke
so rabbinical Man: what do I do now,
so lost? so lost.

We love each other.
Can't you leave me alone?
Am I a Job, to be taken from home
and broke? In the dust? In the pain, ******
****, and my tears? Where's the mountain
moving now?

Now, I'm just a fool;
you're the Lord,
and I know that too well.
You've a plan
  -- I assume. --
and sometimes I quell
all the fears, sheathe my dagger-filled eyes.
But I'm mad, God.
I'm mad.

So what now? I love you God,
and I've belt out my piece.
So what now? I was hoping
that this poem would rose-petal
to peace
but it's not. So I'll wait.
In flaming throat-tight and tears.
I shift my weight,
restless-pray,
pray that wisdom perseveres.
What an odd pain, that has nothing to do with ****** injury.
Discussion ends, and we talk on:
to clarify lecture, thereon
concerning life - the rules by which we play
as clumsy wise with books and blades,
chemists cutting to remake
the human form, and change, reshape
their lives with information, application
of our minds, the drugs concocted
via our thoughts. This the power -
and its light we cannot help but hope to wield,
for who declines the hands that look for aid,
to bring the flush to lives that fade?

Discussion ends, and we talk on:
I with slow mind, I ask thereon
for I am slow, but eager so
he answers, words like hands that move
competent in their purpose, and kind
to funnel knowledge to an empty mind.

Discussion ends, and we talk on
Still spoke of drugs and blood, thereon:
Influx flow in, efflux flow out,
the drug, first raw, march'd through a route
of enzymes who transform its love
for water -- made it dissolve
like salt in *****, strained away
with all your waste. Their hands are good,
those of your doctor, liver, blood.

The mathematics predict efflux
flow out -- flow in
influx dictate that concentration drug in blood
will rise - molarity
increased - at rate unchanged if not
that substrate concentration guides
the liver's rate:
a second order interaction,
see, reaction rate increases
until the speed
flow in/the rate
flow out is one, the same, and thus the blood's
molarity will change no more
-- this he taught me, as we spoke,
and if my mind wandered too far,
as it sometimes does, his hands
reached out - the type
articulate in words or digits,
which, touching, reawakened mine
to further sculpt my hands refined.
This poem concerns both the nature of teaching and the nature of the term "steady state," used in pharmacokinetics.
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