A Fisherman Observes

Look to the ships; they trace the sky

In lines of gray and spotty white

In tails of smoke like fishing lines

Against the dying of the light.

Within the glitter of their skins

A horde ferments, and though the rays

Are bright, the sunshine cannot warm

What lies within. Upon my gaze

The pixels flash; the screen goes black

Such is the fate of shiny things –

A death a lifetime overdue –

I leave the house. The sunlight stings.


Beyond the edges of the town

The roads fade into brackish murk

The tops of buildings stagger odd

Within the waters. Here I lurk

Between a huddle of the dead

Titanic bones whose shadows throng

Above the sea – the fishes here

Will not be here for long.

I cast my line and fix upon

The windows laced with mossy coat;

Within the glass, amidst the green

There sits an old man in a boat.

He looks as if he soon will starve

And as if that is not enough

Above the tremble of his hand

There lies a bloodstain on his cuff.

His lungs are black; his body shakes

As cough by cough is drawn and cast

In starts and stops. Each moment pulls

To push the next... to stay the last.


And so the sun in dapple falls

To blot the sky in copper hue;

Above the clouds, there should be stars

And in their glow, the chosen few

Whose months will toss and turn and spill

In cryogenic fugue; whose dream

Will rise and bloom and then will wilt –

Yet still, it will not fail to gleam.

It cannot fail to catch and hold

The ripples of its darkling spin –

The blessings of the solar tide –

And so by dusk, the bites begin.

And so in dawn we cast again

To bait the stars with rotten seed

To water worlds in streams of salt

And watch another ocean bleed.


Alas – the line twitches

I ease the fellow in

A wriggling little fish

With scales of burnished tin.

Imperfect Flowers

We Hope To See You Again