“Titanic” by Marie Mason


A hundred years of stories and it’s not enough
To mark a date,
They will dredge the blue depths
And spare no expense.
(not for charity, make a note
not for Sudan’s needed grain,
not Haiti’s medicine)
But gain….
And details, dollars, samples for scholars,
The self-indulgence of a gilded clock
Stopped in time upon a marble mantel
Miles below the surface of the sea
This brittle allegory,
Sepulchre nestled soft in silt
That is the living ship
And feeds on corpses so long dead
The sea reclaims, reorganizes matter
And redecorates
With stalagtites formed by flesh.
Where the disposables still lie,
Buried with the sordid empty beer cans,
The refuse of a thousand useless cruises
And the castasides who slept in lower berths….
With what callous hubris,
With what garrish decadence
Only to meet Nature sideways
And slide down.
Posted as a sign
For all of humankind
A hundred years.
And still
It is the poor who will
Perish down below in each disaster –
While those riding high above them,
Will carry only those that love them
As they fly away too soon
In exquisitely appointed
Headed for Newt’s
Cities on the Moon.