All Things Seen

–after Peter Bain’s “Schooner in Harbor”

She only wants to see what others see:
The shore-men’s work arrested by the clock;
A scrim of light reflecting off the sea;
The gadgetry of ships in harbor dock.

The shore-men’s work arrested by the clock
Amplifies the silence underneath.
The gadgetry of ships in harbor dock
And pilings set like measures in repeat

Amplify this silence underneath
That she can’t help but know, its heart concealed
In pilings struck like measures in repeat.
To her the blank of all has been revealed.

What she can’t help but know–its heart concealed
In bollards, cranes, and winches waiting, mute—
Is all the blank of all has been revealed
And portioned up, a bitter substitute.

The bollards, cranes, drum winches waiting mute
Parse nothing in the sky—no birds, no clouds
Are portioned up; a bitter substitute
For bones of masts and booms. The bearing shrouds

Brave nothing in the sky—no birds, no clouds—
Their tensile ratlines tallying the loss
In bones of masts and booms. The bearing shrouds
Accentuate the yardarm’s naked cross

Their tensile ratlines tallying the loss
That cannot be redeemed. Impending time
Will weather down the yardarm’s naked cross
Emboldening an endless pantomime

She wrestles to redeem. Advancing time,
Encouraged by the clang of cable chains,
Facilitates the endless pantomime;
Asserts that what is here negates the pain

Heralded in those clanging cable chains
She cannot reconcile. Their strident sound
Postures that what is here negates the pain
Of what is not, or never can been found.

She cannot reconcile their strident sound.
A random rope’s displacement in a breeze,
Discloses what is not, or never found,
Transfiguring the daylight by degrees.

A single rope’s displacement in a breeze
or scrim of light reflecting off the sea
transfigures all the daylight by degrees—
She only wants to see what others see.

Christine Casson

Christine Casson

Christine Casson is the author of After the First World, a book of poems. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Agenda (England), Stand (England), The Dalhousie Review, DoubleTake, Natural Bridge, Alabama Literary Review, Fashioned Pleasures (Parallel Press, 2005), Never Before (Four Way Books, 2005), and Conversation Pieces (Everyman's Library, 2007). She has also published critical essays on the work of Leslie Marmon Silko and the poetry of Linda Hogan and Robert Penn Warren. Ms. Casson is currently writing a book of non-fiction that explores the relationship between trauma and memory, and is at work on a study of the poetic sequence entitled Sequence and Time Signature: A Study in Poetic Orchestration.Her second book of poems is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2021. She is Scholar- / Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.
Christine Casson

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Author: Christine Casson

Christine Casson is the author of After the First World, a book of poems. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Agenda (England), Stand (England), The Dalhousie Review, DoubleTake, Natural Bridge, Alabama Literary Review, Fashioned Pleasures (Parallel Press, 2005), Never Before (Four Way Books, 2005), and Conversation Pieces (Everyman's Library, 2007). She has also published critical essays on the work of Leslie Marmon Silko and the poetry of Linda Hogan and Robert Penn Warren. Ms. Casson is currently writing a book of non-fiction that explores the relationship between trauma and memory, and is at work on a study of the poetic sequence entitled Sequence and Time Signature: A Study in Poetic Orchestration. Her second book of poems is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2021. She is Scholar- / Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.