The Whole Picture (2008)


Sub-rosa, I heist

stealing a sidelong glance, a secret smile -

capturing a cloud, a rainbow, a watermelon toss in a supermarket

a dirty look from an ambushed pedestrian


while willing to risk falling or drowning

after a slip in a river,

or being charged by an angry bovine,

while nearly getting run over by a passing motorist.

The compulsion to click

dictates my fortunes.


Launching the shutter, I intercept time

in its relentless destruction of the moment:

the shocked expression on a bucked-off cowboy,  

a pelican in mid-flight as he shores up his wings for a dive,

a seagull’s rape in choppy waters,

a donkey mother chastising her young,

midair planes, balloons,

kites flying and gliders gliding

surfers waving, dolphins leaping, 

breaching whales, renegade livestock,

seals swatting and spatting with only their flippers -

and multitudes of people laughing,

crying, resting, and fighting,

action frozen in time and space.


And imprison images:

the fragility of fading petals

bugs and rodents on the prowl,

museum goers going,

grocery shoppers shopping,

street walkers and walkers walking,

parks and industrial parkways,              

muzzled dogs, and burned out forests,

from places familiar and foreign -

musicians, beggars, and coin-tossers,

crevices in the pavements, and paved over crevices:

secret gateways to understanding.


Abstract or representational visions

(all in mini megapixels – tiny squares

as responsive to manipulation

as a synapse is to electrical impulse)

stored in the vast annals of my hard drive

where they drive hard to incite

my digital darkroom

into releasing  impressions

hidden in raw files.