Sunday, March 1, 2009


photo by Ellen Kooi

Seeing Whales

You can go blind, waiting

Unbelievable quiet
except for their

Moving the sea around

Unbelievable quiet inside you, as they change
the face of water

The only other time I felt this still was watching Leif shoot up when
we were twelve

Sunlight all over his face

the surface of something
I couldn't see

You can wait your
whole life

The Himalayas are on the move, appearing and disappearing in the
snow in the Himalayas

begins to fill
the half-dead auditorium
giant step by
giant step

The Colorado
The Snake
The Salmon

My grandfather walks across the front porch
spotted with cancer, smoking
a black cigar

The whales fold themselves back and back inside the long hallways of

You have to stare back at the salt
the sliding mirrors
all day

just to see something

for the last time


By now they are asleep
some asleep 
on the bottom of the world
sucking the world in
and blowing it out
in wave-

Radiant ghosts

Leif laid his head back on a pillow and waited for all the blood inside him
to flush down
a hole

After seeing whales what do you see?

The hills behind the freeway

power lines

green, green

the green sea

-Matthew Dickman


Dave said...

This was one of those poems that prompted me to immediately add the book to my Amazon list after reading it on Poetry Daily.

Pam Hart said...

Yes...I so admired the way this poem moved around such varied landscapes, evoking each. It's a captivating work.

apprentice said...

A stunning poem indeed, thanks for the opportunity of reading it.

Deborah Batterman said...

One of the wonders of reading blogs is discovering writers whose work I'm not all that familiar with. This is a mesmerizing poem.

Matthew said...

I think this one is actually by Michael Dickman, Matthew Dickman's twin.

Pam Hart said...

Thanks Matthew...good catch. The author is indeed Michael...I mixed up the names after reading the poem at Poetry Daily. And thanks for visiting.