a fish leaps--
There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.
These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.
But there's one that comes--
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,
closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.
You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
A fish hook
An open eye
This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks,
Cut stems struggling to put down feet,
What saint strained so much,
Rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?
I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing,
In my veins, in my bones I feel it --
The small waters seeping upward,
The tight grains parting at last.
When sprouts break out,
Slippery as fish,
I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet.
Once I was sailing for fun
On a lake of great allure,
Like gold the sun shone so pure,
And my soul more than the sun.
Then suddenly I could smell
Before I saw at my feet,
A foul fish, with death replete,
At the bottom of the well
English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.
I wait for the holiday crowd to clear the beach
before stepping onto the first wave.
Soon I am walking across the Atlantic
thinking about Spain,
checking for whales, waterspouts.
I feel the water holding up my shifting weight.
Tonight I will sleep on its rocking surface.
But for now I try to imagine what
this must look like to the fish below,
the bottoms of my feet appearing, disappearing.
Conversation brings us so close! Opening
The surfs of the body
Bringing fish up near the sun
And stiffening the backbones of the sea!
I have wandered in a face for hours
Passing through dark fires.
I have risen to a body
Not yet born
Existing like a light around the body
Through which the body moves like a sliding moon.
Elephants are contagious!
Be careful how you tread.
An Elephant that's been trodden on
Should be confined to bed!
Leopards are contagious too.
Be careful tiny tots.
They don't give you a temperature
But lots and lots - of spots.
The Herring is a lucky fish
From all disease inured.
Should he be ill when caught at sea;
Immediately - he's cured!
My sleeping children are still flying dreams
in their goose-down heads.
The lush of the river singing morning songs
Fish watch their ceilings turn sun-white.
The grey-green pike lances upstream
Kale, like mermaid's hair
points the water's drift.
All is morning hush
and bird beautiful.
I didn't have flu.
What fish feel,
birds feel, I don't know--
the year ending.
I want your long blonde beauty
to be taught in high school,
so kids will learn that God
lives like music in the skin
and sounds like a sunshine harpsicord.
I want high school report cards
to look like this:
Playing with Gentle Glass Things
Writing Letters to Those You Love
Finding out about Fish
Marcia's Long Blonde Beauty
The Whale that wanders round the Pole
Is not a table fish.
You cannot bake or boil him whole
Nor serve him in a dish;
But you may cut his blubber up
And melt it down for oil.
And so replace the colza bean
(A product of the soil).
These facts should all be noted down
And ruminated on,
By every boy in Oxford town
Who wants to be a Don.
fish the cormorants haven't caught
swimming in the shallows.
William Butler Yeats
All things can tempt me from this craft of verse:
One time it was a woman's face, or worse -
The seeming needs of my fool-driven land;
Now nothing but comes readier to the hand
Than this accustomed toil.
When I was young,
I had not given a penny for a song
Did not the poet Sing it with such airs
That one believed he had a sword upstairs;
Yet would be now, could I but have my wish,
Colder and dumber and deafer than a fish.
We lie back to back.
lift and fall,
like the chest of someone sleeping.
Wind moves the leaves of the box elder;
they show their light undersides,
turning all at once
like a school of fish.
Suddenly I understand that I am happy.
For months this feeling
has been coming closer, stopping
for short visits, like a timid suitor.
In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
And followed me.
The fields are chill, the sparse rain has stopped;
The colours of Spring teem on every side.
With leaping fish the blue pond is full;
With singing thrushes the green boughs droop.
The flowers of the field have dabbled their powdered cheeks;
The mountain grasses are bent level at the waist.
By the bamboo stream the last fragment of cloud
Blown by the wind slowly scatters away.
Two fish float:
one slowly downstream
into the warm
currents of the known
the other tugging
against the stream,
tearing its throat.
Sling me under the sea.
Pack me down in the salt and wet.
No farmer's plow shall touch my bones.
No Hamlet hold my jaws and speak
How jokes are gone and empty is my mouth.
Long, green-eyed scavengers shall pick my eyes,
Purple fish play hide-and-seek,
And I shall be song of thunder, crash of sea,
Down on the floors of salt and wet.
Sling me .
under the sea.
THE SIX month child
Fresh from the tub
Wriggles in our hands.
This is our fish child.
Give her a nickname: Slippery.
At 1:30 in the morning a fart
smells like a marriage between
an avocado and a fish head.
I have to get out of bed
to write this down without
my glasses on.
River moon go person only few feet
Lantern shine night approach third watch
Sand head overnight egret join curl peaceful
Boat stern jump fish splash noise
The moon's reflected on the river a few feet away,
A lantern shines in the night near the third watch.
On the sand, egrets sleep, peacefully curled together,
Behind the boat I hear the splash of jumping fish.
The ships destroy us above
And ensnare us beneath.
We arise, we lie down, and we
In the belly of Death.
The ships have a thousand eyes
To mark where we come .
But the mirth of a seaport dies
When our blow gets home.