Monday, September 24, 2012

People Who Go Fishing

We sit. We stand. We walk
and wade and float and wait.
We work with things
from a diminutive realm:

string, bits of cloth, feathers,
miniature coins and jewelry,
lead pearls, worms, tiny eggs,
eyelets, small wheels, thin sticks.

Like psychologists, geologists,
and those obsessed with Hell,
we're obsessed with a submerged
dominion, about which we invent
myths, toward which we harbor
resentments, and into which
we cast gleaming desires.
We are deceivers of water-creatures.
We are lords of the sky-world.

We do not travel water to get somewhere.
To us, Odysseus was an abject fool.
Our world is lyric, not epic.  Ahab
was a reckless tourist. Jonah was bait.
And yes, we know whales aren't fish,
so be quiet.  Ssshhh! Did you hear that?
Did you feel that? We live for small
signs of animated resistance, for
the life on the line.  No, it is not
time to go. There is plenty of light left.

Hans Ostrom, 2012

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