Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Straight Bay, After Bruegel \ Mackerel Fishermen

Alan:  “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” revisited.
Straight Bay, After Bruegel
In the foreground, a man bent, hoeing.
His neighbor has come to mow,
the tractor leaving a green wake as it dwindles into the cove in the woods,
rounds it and approaches, churring.
They want to make the old land pay,
not money, but a living.
The man dreams of corn among the rose shoots, hawkweed.
His neighbor watches for boulders in the young growth
of alder, spruce, hackmatack, hardhack.
They are intent on their work,
do not see, in the noon of half-tide,
the bare leg splash, the feathers
scatter on the bay.
Nancy: We don’t scorn the passive fish, we catch them and eat them.  But the mackerel, preceded by the leaping rush of their terrified prey, alway meant something more than a meal.
Mackerel Fishermen
When the fish are, they are.
Beating on the empty sea, we wait.
Their lives touch ours just here,
when they come scything death against our wait.
The fish are hunters.
They cut an arc of fear across the bay.
We wait the time when, taut, we share one life,
one hunt for life.
When the fish are, they are.
Til then, we wait.
“Mackerel Fishermen” first appeared in East of the Light (Stone Man Press and Slow Dancer Press, 1984)