Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Learning The Salmon Upstream To Spawn \ Habitat

Alan: Debris packed up under the bridge.  Just below, crowds of fish, unable to ascend.  We worked to free the blockage, then followed for hours as they struggled upward until we could straddle the stream and there was hardly water enough to cover their gleaming backs.

Learning The Salmon Upstream To Spawn

Simply, fish:
your own metaphor.
Fleshed energy
worn by, clothed in the sinews of flood.

Bubble of strength
dissolve in rapids, rise with backwash,
advance beyond powers.
Energy locked up from pool to pool.
Stretch entropy with instinct –
give all away but an anchored spark.

Alive: organized potential.
Failure brings death.
Fulfillment: death.
And so all futures grow within you.

Alone in infinite effort,
there is no past.
You are the stream,
flowing out, swimming in
the same.
Through drought and falling, 
meteors in another rain.

Nancy: When I saw the picture – the caption – my mind rejected their juxtaposition; if this isn’t a poem, read it as a cry of disbelief and outrage.



and after
in full color aerial views

we don’t do this anymore
dusty ripped bare shattered bombscape
we’ve changed, we’re practicing
new forestry
(see second illustration)

we care
about the environment
we’re sensitive
to your concerns
and sure enough in the second example
right there near the edge of the photo
islanded in the
dusty ripped bare shattered bombscape
are three
“providing habitat”


what I see is
three trees standing
what I hear
is silence
a sound fainter than one hand clapping
no bone trill blood sap song
all that was  /  and is not
three dusty trees
an empty sky
thirst, an ocean of thirst

“Learning The Salmon Upstream To Spawn” first appeared in the Swarthmore College Bulletin.

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