Here is a sonnet to commemorate the rescue of the Chilean miners that began last night. It is not necessarily finished. It is directly from a two hour wrestling match with my brain. So why post it now? At first, the answer was clear. I won't. No sense in it. Because not only is the poem possibly incomplete, neither is the rescue effort complete. As of this instant, only sixteen of the miners are above ground. Then I got to thinking about it. I was impressed by a sense of nowness. Something to do with immediacy and the life of a poem. If I am the least bit effective as a poet, I should be able to capture a moment in such a way as to sustain its urgency, in a self-perpetuating sense (a sort of Romantic sense). Such a poem survives the present. Mounts time and rides it into everlasting. Something like that. Something far too laden with metaphysical propositions beyond the scope or intent of this preface.
I don't presume to be achieving anything particularly momentous here. I simply became intrigued by the concept of embedding this object, my small poem, into this time-stamped medium, as an exercise in interaction--that is, an attempt to utilize simultaneity as a means to fully engage the art with its inspiration. Like the quick consumption of hot-out-of-the-oven-bread born of an out-of-the-blue craving. Or something like that. Something to do with immediacy and the life of a poem.
Descent begins. Slow troll of cable, taut
Along the pulley. The indelible
Unspooling spectacle, invincible
Time counterwise on whitewash spokes and caught
Off guard. Now darkness. Stone against machine.
The mineral moisture, the tang-pricked tears.
His own hot breath—the vapor versus gears
Above, the only vital sign between
The separated lives, the low and high.
The second-hours, the minute-days—how long
Must months seem? Cannot rub the itching eye.
May never see the stars again. Or friends.
Imagine ocean shores. Listen . . . a song—
The hope of half-naked survivors ascends.
[since originally posting this, two things of note: 25 miners are presently out and I changed the "spokes" from "yellow" to "whitewash" having misremembered the color of the pulley-wheel. The frame is yellow.]