Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NaPoWriMo #4: With the fishes



A family headed by a large round body
of arms and legs, awkwardly
swaddling down to the water's edge,

a long haired one follows
tells the two small ones behind her
to be careful (it's slippery,
the mud sinks, swallows shoe soles,
sticky),                                                              dragging along
with bright red pails and scoops
and nets,

                                                the reeds touch them, unable to tear away
                                                                   their enthusiasm, softly they bend;

down to the clear rippling waters
they are going to catch
the fishes,                                                the fishes swimming therein

before another storm
gathers a new flood
to fall, and the warning
lights go on,

before                                                this tempting cool
stream becomes a rushing                                         river
of mud, twigs and debris.

Black shadows glide
away from them,
realizing this intrusion
is not accidental

                                                                          the fishes demonstrate
                                                               what they know of

dash away, scatter
before those pale feet
with short wiggly
appendages enter;                          intruders
eager for aquatic pets.

They look around,
relieved, thinking
no one is watching

                                                             even as hawk circles lazily above




dsnake1 said...

i have a feeling this is happening at the new Bishan-AMK park. :)
great observations again. i think city folks like to get close to nature once a while.

about the poem's structure. i think it's pretty unique, as if one side is for the fishes & the other about the human intruders. i have tried something like that in the past, almost 2 identical columns, and believe me, it's pretty hard to write. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the ominous ending and the fish demonstrating what they know of supernovas. I actually have often wondered how animals think about the world, do they care about causality beyond a disturbance in the water? I keep expecting primates to begin mythologizing their environment. Fascinating work, so happy you're writing and posting every day!

Fred Rutherford said...

Love this one Raven. Such a keen eye here, and the separation of passages clearly reflect the notions held within the piece. Great job. Thanks

Ravenblack said...

Thanks you guys.

@dsnake: You've guessed correctly, I did see this happening in the park. And as if the park authority anticipated this, they've put up signs and added a great abundance of fish into the streams. I don't understand why folks can't leave them alone. Parents leading in such behavior. Why would the fish look better at home than in the river? *roll eyes*

@Anna: That's interesting thought. I tend to think animals live more presently but I'm sure they can sense if things are not right. I've wondered what fellow mammals think of us.

@Fred: Thanks. I'm glad that worked.

CygnetSeven said...

I wrote a poem once of a boy skipping stones from the fish's perspective, you did an awesome job of capturing that feeling. I love the poem within a poem, never tried that, you made me think. I read it as one whole poem and as two separate poems. What fun. Have you ever seen the book House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski? Same thing, multiple stories within stories. Trippy.

Ravenblack said...

@Cyg: I'm taking a note of that book. Thanks! And thanks for reading this piece in the way that you did. It was indeed meant to be read either as one or two poems. :)