Crossing Boundaries

I’ve just made my first artwork sale to a buyer in Canada. I am strangely pleased by this. Somehow it all seems more real when there are border crossings involved.

“The Kraken”

Out beyond the limits of the known
There be monsters
Tall as thunderclouds
Surging like tides
Scattering the sun’s jewels
In your path


Ahead there are
Storms and marvels
The kraken and the great whale
Dragons clothed in lightning
Cold and wet
Fire and thirst

The compass dances, spins,
Flings itself into the sea!
The sails fill with strange winds
Smelling of murder and orchids
And green rivers
Hanging dark with mystery

Turn back now and you
Will have stories to tell
And grandchildren to listen
With shining faces
Warm fires
Soft beds

Sail on, and you will see
Sail on, compass drowned
Charts burned
Lifeboats broken to splinters
Sail on

Sail on

And you will be changed
You will wear the stars like adamantine scales
And the moon like great pearly horns
And you will become splendid
And you will become vast

You will become a monster.

David Holcomb
Winslow, Arkansas, November 2014

* * *

5 thoughts on “Crossing Boundaries

  1. Did you actually write the poem? Your name is at the bottom. If you did, then … WOW!!! Your talents never cease to amaze me. It is beautiful. If you didn’t, then, I am still glad you posted it. I love it.

    1. Yep, that was me. I kind’ve felt that the painting needed a bit of backstory for those folks who might not be so saturated with Homer and Herodotus, and I had made some notes at the time I painted it for a little poem to go with it. When the picture sold I put the poem together so that I could include it with the piece. For me, the whole point of the picture was the contrast between the gigantic, indefinite currents/tentacles/waves and the little tiny boat skimming along in the glittering sunshine high above them as though unaware of what was transpiring below — or possibly aware, but staying the course anyway.

  2. I didn’t know Arkansas had a Winslow, doesn’t have the same ring as “standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *