Deep Time, Daily Habits and Events was published through a grant from the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. The book was a collaborative project with my brother, Jeff Basting, who created the drawings and design for the book. It was conceived as a piece of conceptual art; the subject of the book is time. 

The illustrations for the book covered daily habits and historical events, while the poems addressed the subject of deep time (astrologic and geologic time). The book presented all levels of time as they occur, simultaneously. Printed on a light, translucent paper, the pages of the book reinforce this concept by allowing images and ideas from the past, present and future to merge, consciously and unconsciously, as the pages are turned and images and ideas from the text are presented. While the subject of the poems is deep time, the short, columnar formatting for the texts suggest daily newsprint. As subtext to the illustrations, the poems provide a stark contrast to the humanity presented in the drawings. 


Pulling these poems out of context for this web site does not really help the poems out much, so I’ve provided a smallish selection. This book is still available as a signed, limited edition for $15.00. Copies can be obtained by sending me an e-mail so follow up arrangements can be made. See the "Contact" tab of this web site for my e-address.



Deep space
death place a
star 10 times
a greater size
than our Sun
erupts,
does not go
quietly
into that
dark night,

deep night,
supernova,
does not
go quietly
that
runaway train
that runaway
chain reaction
that 
nuclear inferno,

does not take
quietly
obliteration and
rockets into space
all matter all
star wispy debris
for collection
later
into gases,

new stars
new planets and 
surely
over 4 or 5
billion years,
the simple
molecular
building blocks 
of life.

     ***

As far
as telescopes
can see, islands
of stars
cluster throughout
space.
2 million
200 thousand
light years
away

the great
Andromeda spins,
twin-like
reflection
of the Milky Way.
Most distant
object
visible to our
naked eyes,
light we see

from Andomeda
tonight
left its home
2.2 million
years gone by,
when ape-like
our ancestors
roamed the African
forest floors
and slept

in trees
by night,
cooing amongst
themselves
and pointing
thick,
hairy fingers
at the lights,
diamond lights
dancing in the sky.

    ***

One inch
each year
Africa
and South
America drift
away from
their once
land-locked
embrace.
Fifty 
million years

from today
(one eightieth
of our Earth's
present age)
the ocean between
these old and 
distant lovers
will be 1000
miles wider.
Fifty million
years from

today, the Alps
like that other
gang,
the Himalayas,
will be taller
tougher boys,
and the Sea,
the beautiful
Mediterranean,
will be a lake
full of bright

darting fish.
Fifty million
years from today,
Los Angeles
will ride the wild
skinny slab of
Pacific Plate,
ride the wild
edge of the West
past San Francisco
north

to the Aleutians,
free
from the Continent's
old crust,
entirely free
at last
free at last
the City of Angels
will be free
at last.

    ***

Each year India
plunges further
under Asia,
raising Everest
and the whole
Mongolian plateau.

Each year
Everest grows
more spectacular,
while India
crumbles slowly
into its grave.

One with beauty,
one with death,
what a future
the collision of two
ancient plates
invites us toward.

The planet
simply shuffles
the deck, one
land mass
over another.





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