The Whale Knot

Sea-beast for sky-worshippers, the whale easily absorbs all others. Colours, languages, creatures, forms. Read the whale in all the ways clouds are read. The clouds out of sight are patterned and inscrutable; chaos from simple constituents, form out of simple chaos. A long-drawn complicity with us all in the sperm-whale’s little eye; among its cells, somewhere, land-knowledge, the diverse, our condition. Decamped into boundless viscosity, our Absolute, the whale seems simpler than it is: as easy water-to-land knot in the museum sperm-whale’s bared head-bone, alive as the megaliths are alive, all the force-lines crossing within their singular undemanding forms. Lifted from the whale-head, a disused quarry swims, borne on the earth; its cliffs a moon-cradle, its waters part of the sky. Roy Fisher

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