Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)
TITLE: Where Sharks and Whales Only Swim in Books
By Henry Clemmons
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And they’ll be no safety,
Because there is no safety on a sea hiding monsters.
An altered, borrowed thought from Melville’s whale,
I took as prophesy,
Slightly changed because I will not live by the sea.
I sense land and know its land,
I live on land,
Way inland, where sharks and whales only swim in books.
It’s been that way ever since that poster sucked us in
To the darkened sea of theatre’s trap,
Haunted by the simple pattern of alternating notes E and F.
Jaws of fear forever chased me to the plains.
Quint’s scream echoed Ahab’s plea,
As they both drown in swirls of unknown depths in grasps of monsters.
I still see it hanging, taunting from theatre’s red brick wall,
The great white killer of innocent swimmers;
Straight up, mouth open, death stalking, a frantic thrashing,
Gurgled screaming, an eerie silence, a bloodied ocean, once still, once serene,
There are no creatures of the deep in Kansas,
No Brady’s, Hooper’s, or Quint’s drunken songs of false courage,
No great white killer of innocent swimmers stalking my life from
The poster changed my life.
I live on the Rock, firmly on the Rock, far from a shore hiding monsters.
I believe in Amity, but not as an island, it can’t be an island; never an island.
I saw that film with my father; I was young.
It was the only time he ever took me to the picture show.
He was so strong, he would have survived like Brady, if not for the monster,
Not Spielberg’s creature, but a swift silent killer of cells from beneath the
It was 1975,
Two alternating notes blown from a tuba,
And a large placard of a great white shark Mr. Benchley named, Jaws.
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