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David W. Parsley

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About David W. Parsley

  • Birthday 04/03/1958

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    Rancho Palos Verdes, California, USA
  • Interests
    Literature, philosophy, music, science, religion, God, space exploration, camping, hiking, history, women and feminism, politics, economics, engineering, enterprise and program management, higher mathematics, theology, epistemology, ethics, ontology, cosmology, stock market, art, history, God again, ballet, poets, poems, poetic forms, informal asthetics, film. And other stuff.

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  1. Hi David, Please delete the single tag with space, paean etc  then tag each word separately.  Tags don't link up unless they are exactly the same so if someone tagged their poem simply space, it wouldn't link to your poem because your tag as it is also has paean etc.  Hop I'm making sense.  Typing with one hand is the pits


  2. Cassini Spacecraft: A Paean

    Cassini Spacecraft: A Paean You are in your proximal plunge phase now: predestined flash at Saturn’s limb signaling oblivion after all you have done which means this is the best we could come up with in the name of planetary protection for a few icy moons which means you are now mortal as we and we are gifting you death with dignity, though brilliant as you are for a 1990s vintage robotic space probe, you have never heard of Oregon or Washington or Doctor Jack. It isn’t about you really but a suspicion of microbes and that extra large side of plutonium you swallowed before we launched you cheering like fools believing like fools that you were the super bright child who would achieve all you eventually did. It was a very big deal, that plutonium thing. Some people worked to stop you before you started because they wanted planetary protection for their part of our planet and maybe they were right to say that but I also knew the launch vehicle was designed to not fail, that I had lain awake nights like a worried father who just heard his son (I shouldn’t have told him) is working alone at the booster test site re-routing cables and logic so that everything would be perfect this time, nothing like the nozzle autoclave in Pueblo that sent its doting expert seated to monitor on the 2.5 ton lid with it through the ceiling and into the parking lot a hundred yards away, nor the crane that dropped a booster segment and its own counter-weights to crush that kid Big Al and send ignited chunks of rocket propellant like flashing harpies scorching those who crouched in apparent safety away from the fray, aware the subsequent initial test firing went horribly wrong because we were young and did not know how to persuade our leadership we needed the few extra dollars and hours to analyze in three dimensions nor read a paper twenty years before that would have told us the propellant could collapse and choke the flow of fire sending a Promethean fist through the casing to unzip the booster’s imperfectly reckoned heart, send walls of the twelve-story high test stand to the corners of that multi-acre complex burning down the mountainside. A redesign, five test firings, and one successful launch later we were sure again. Or at least as sure as fools like us could be with an over-arching need to know what Saturn would tell us should we return with you our proxy because Voyager said we should. Voyager is like you. And not, demanding her own price of commitment through voices like Sagan’s and Stone’s with Andy Ingersoll reminding everyone how unremarkable we seem now we have troubled to look outside. Like you she carries her own eco-threatening life source which is why you must take this proximal plunge; unlike you she is immortal because her encounter with the giant was no more than a glimpse and assist to continue on to the stars we hope eventually accept with empathy her fizzled radio-isotope heart along with recorded voices of Earth we hope gift more than relics of our vanishing. Voyager-2 followed -1 by a few months, data from their flybys enough for us to send you gifted proxy to poke beneath the murk of Titan, atmospheric moon larger than our own, peer into the swirl of Saturn storms each peer to all the gathered clouds of Earth. Forgive us if our heads are turned from voices named Webster, Johnson, Pilker, Porco, Green, confirming the verdict of unremarkability while you continue portfolio entries of the remarkable, as your focus shifts introspective through grazes between the planet and his plane of rings, registering a last set of tallies for impacting cosmic dust and magnetism, sequenced commands that must summon for you completion: our own storms now distract us bearing innocuous names like Harvey, Irma, Jose, wind speeds unimpressive maybe for a gas giant like the one you orbit and must soon embrace. They’re enough for us in our messier mortality wishing at this moment for protection from our planet’s warmed vicissitudes. Forgive us while we pick our retracing way through neighborhoods that forget us, forget that just last week we tended lawns like routine discoveries in our individual star systems suspending belief in our mortality. We learn again such fluffy lives will dent when touched like so many Hyperions shut where no insulting light should glimmer. We don’t forget your likewise mortal mission. You traded infinity for affinity hanging around as John Denver once crooned becoming a thing that we believe in. After twenty years of watching it remains to reckon the full measure of knowledge uneclipsed because we sent you: lakes of Titan aslosh those methane crusted shores and plains glimpsed as parachutes of the Huygens probe collapsed nearby its landing; Enceladus ice jets stark like Bailey’s beads emerging from totality to paint the system’s E-ring like Renaissance annunciations; rings ranged thick as Rocky Mountains displaying for you their leaking wrecks and pulverizations, spokes, propellers, shepherd moons wading without smile among annuli of their own making like childhood images of magi or patriarchs unswerving in the sand, at times Dantean Malebranche urging the trudge of smoky wisps along the rounds of cosmic shrapnel. You are in your proximal plunge now having spanned nearly half Saturn’s 29-year march of seasons. For you they end here. One cannot help but wonder if old Giovanni for whom you are named in that last blind year no longer equal to his task of topographic reckonings (he reduced the estimated area of his adopted country) still asked to visit the telescopes his own hands had placed at the Paris Observatory running fingertips along the cool brass of oculars and fittings, secretly desired an end more like yours sliding open eyed toward that body of swirls and polar hexagons made larger than we could have known to hope. previously unpublished © 2017 David W. Parsley Parsley Poetry Collection
  3. Cinquain to the Theotokos

    Now that is an answer worthy of dcmarti1! lol Touche'!
  4. Cinquain to the Theotokos

    Totally! You are a keeper in my book. If you ever come through the SoCal area, please let me know. We can swap stories for a while, take in some sights. :-) (Even though you didn't answer my technology question... ;-) Peace
  5. Cinquain to the Theotokos

    Not meaning to divert from your lovely poem, but I don't understand the problem with virgin birth. We could do it now with existing technology. Is God's technology somehow inferior to 21st century humanity's? Just curious.
  6. Winter Solstice 2016

    Tony, that is a whopper of a response to a whopper of a poem! Viva The Opus! - Dave
  7. Iambic Meter

    Include me with the welcomers, O'Toole. And may iambic lines refresh the school of memories that swim like darting sparks to lead us back to speak in rhyme-words full of whispers like soft gusts from childhood parks. - Dave
  8. Pareidolia

    Hi Geoff, my favorite part is: When I first read it, I wasn't sure of the anachronistic "morn", but have decided it is actually a nice touch, as long no others come along. I confess that "whilst" is one anachronism too many for this reader, especially in conjunction with the inversion to follow. As a fan, I would request a refining of this fourth line. Pareidolia: a new word for me, too. A terrific find, very relevant to this poem and likely to inspire more on the forum. Thanks! One more suggestion: how about a different adjective than the unspecific "gentle" in the last line, and something to prepare the arrival of "you" (perhaps an expansion of the title?). Thank you, - Dave
  9. Cinquain to the Theotokos

    Marti, I see a metaphor for eroding religious belief that the individual cannot bring herself/himself to yet remove from her/his personal Garden of the Beautiful. A relic perhaps made more beautiful for such wear, bringing pathos and nostalgia, a path back to belief should it be determined desirable. Including the picture is a nice touch for this reader. Like Phil, I enjoy the simple phrasing moved to fine audible effect through rot/rock/rose, as well as bush (burning?)/bird/bath/body, hands/how/hold, Mary/every/she, and especially Mary/missing/amen. Devastating irony in the repeated "Amen", with its aching message, "So let it be." Thanks (I think!), - Dave
  10. camp prison

    Barry, I find the tone and imagery of the poem arresting, as always with your work. I admire your recent attention to detail in grammar and spelling, but there may be a miss at the start of the poem which was confusing and distracting for this reader: The eyes I painted on the cell wall cry a tear for every lost ally who receive the wrong ghosts. The word "receive" implies plurality, which would indicate that "The eyes" are antecedent to "who" to which the wrong ghosts appear, but the diction does not support it. The sense of the phrase would seem to indicate that the intention is that it is "every lost ally" who is receiving them. If that is the case, you should use the word, "receives". If intentional, I do not consider this an effective ambiguity. I likewise can't make this sentence hang together grammatically, but am not convinced that it doesn't work. Still mulling it, but like Tony, greatly admire individual images like the candle's" wax tears". What an interesting thought! But then "of a sunken church" comes in and I'm confused again. Perhaps you are painting a new image of "night's back of a sunken church"? Not sure I can conjure that painting. Given other grammar errors, can't determine if it is another such error, or deliberate manipulation of image and language. Just one reader's thoughts, possibly missing an insight that reflects more on me than anything else. - Dave
  11. The Library at Closing Time

    Tony, as usual, I find your insights alternately encouraging and challenging. It did not occur to me to link the poem's theme(s) with those of Aqualung, a highly regarded concept album considered to be a profound statement on the distinction between religion and God. I am impressed and encouraged by your innate grasp of the motif. And I deliberately left room in the poem for each reader to project his/her own perspective into the metanarrative and derive the corresponding value from the experience. My own perspective bends more retro than that of Jethro Tull. A century give or take of existentialist thought and its spin-offs have been so aggressively revisionist and counter culture (yes, that is a play on words in line 14) that we may wish to consider whether we have thrown out baby, God, hammer, chisel, polisher, and kitchen sink with the bathwater of "received systems." The culture of dismissing all heritage masterpieces as the product of DWEMs (dead white European males) has resulted in an impoverishment and potential evisceration of literary legacy that has helped engender our post-literate age. (Harold Bloom's savage The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages gives an insightful, if somewhat over-the-top, rebuttal.) I take a similar view of current attitudes toward religion. Is it okay if we adjust the knobs on our equipment instead of kicking in the front of the chassis and throwing it out? Final note: As you probably guess, there are any number of allusions (gasp!) in the poem, but one of particular importance is an admiring nod to Allen Ginsberg's, "A Supermarket in California," itself a part of the poet's manifesto promoting the beat generation outshoot of the same existentialism toward which I lob a few soft grenades (lines 8-14.) Thanks as always! - Dave
  12. The Library at Closing Time

    The Library at Closing Time As he approached the stark gray metal detectors the man who wanted his pharynx mended the man shouldering past the murmurers in the garden entry saying go back and save the only one that you can By the time he strode under flickering fluorescents strobing those of us in the checkout line the folded armed librarian now certain no one was coming to pick up some lost kids of Jean-Paul and Simone efficiently deshelving works not recently received He composed himself like a discovery self-sudden ready to navigate the carnage of dislodged tomes stepping over gold-bound communiqués slender piths and testimonials where Lorca lay bleeding selecting from counters whole cultures at a time When he had gathered himself like Van Gogh’s sheaf shearer like a shifting pile of maps and doubloons tottered past Whitman’s whimsical bust near the exit I say when he bounded the door with some of us following stopped at the spectacle of stars kindling ancient grills all the old rough beasts slouching down from the hills songbirds daring duskfall to perch along the lines of budding When he turned then to our silent questioning allowed our hands to share the casual rite of unburdening we saw how much he wanted to tell us this is how it could be whenever we want it to be That this is the journey too to remember what we came for what we have always known to come for and that nobody is ever saved alone everybody is in the same line of work and we can be previously unpublished © 2017 David W. Parsley Parsley Poetry Collection
  13. Autumn Sky Poetry re-ran a poem of mine in January (link below). This posting is accompanied by a nice photograph and the opportunity for reader commentary (much like PMO's blog concept.) Autumn Sky Poetry Archives One comment thread deals with the question of factuality, both for this poem and for poetry in general. In this case, the poem is completely accurate, justifying the speculations by the commentators as to the story behind the bird's tragic appearance on my doorstep. But literature is filled with pieces that take "poetic license." In our time of letting poetry develop and speak in the context of experience without pretense or superposition of meaning, is this still a valid device? - Dave
  14. The PMO Front Page

    Hi Tony, I like what you are doing with the site. It should encourage greater participation from a broader audience. It will be nice to be able to comment on honors like badger's (and others') publications. There are some hiccups to note. For example, "Notes from the Common Era" has experienced a reversal in the order of entries in its sections. We will need to figure out how to fix that. - Dave
  15. mirrors

    Very moving, captures the sense of displacement and alienation experienced in the face of incomprehensible loss. Like Tony and Tink, I feel that the poem seems to draw its converging lines to the stupefying irony that the inability to come to grips with the tragedy is like a sequence of "rehearsals" - devastating, startles with the affirmation of helplessness. I agree with Tink that some of the internal and line-end breaks could be reconsidered. But my biggest problem with the piece is "senseless grief", which brings a glaring bromide into a highly original poem. Perhaps a phrase more akin to "ritual" or "motions" would work better here. Thank you, Barry. (I think!) Dave

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