BOATS & BUGGIES
"Read Top to Bottom"
James J. Bogan, Jr.
The Mackinac Islander, last of the old coal burners, floats alongside the Arnold Dock
One little line slopes the shed roof off the horizontal
The diesel driven Huron motors up to moor against a maze of pilings vertical
Black ink squiggles and blue water-color blurs compose the water
Whose watery reflections dissolve the Huron's shipshape outline
Into a fading image of itself:
four windows wavering
a mast maybe
a shadowy pilot house
--Then in a Zen-leap of space come the busy buggies
Like Michaelangelo who stopped God on the ceiling coming and going at the same time,
Here are the buggies front, back, and side:
one fringed and empty waits eagerly for tourees
the inmates of the Grand Hotel's omnibus are each one neatly window framed
the top-hatted teamster of the third carriage holds the line diagonal
as a be-derbyed driver ogles three broad-bottomed bicyclists wheeling by the base line
Matched Belgians, strapped in sturdy harness, are rendered with cinched up accuracy
Foreground centered the hefty horse puts a hoof forward
Turns his elongated head towards us
--as if to say:
"Am I not as much an individual as you?
And which of us, sir, is pulling the heavier load?"
This Mackinac scene itself
Floats on the blue void
and was Handed down
for Ann Pitra & Iggie
July 24, 2000