THOLOS OF ATHENA

Sunday, October 14, 2012

copeland morris ARCHIPELAGO

Old fishermen admit to dry mouth,
Perpetual brine soaking the seat
Of their pants, and never managing,
Absent some fish, or without
Fidgets and superstitions that
Mention the smell of land.

There is the regret of Ovid’s writing.
And his lines, mindful of correspondence,
Bubble suddenly in the busy waters--
Or churn with memories of banishment,
Remembered within the archipelago‘s
Ebbing counterpoint.

The sea describes miracles that confound all
Wherever boundless moments belong to men
When their catch overflowed with double
Bounties of shrimp; for as they hauled up nets
They slid uncertainly on the deck.
And what a flock of seagulls came!

The wild delight and swarming obscured
The long-sought messages of these friends,
These that had been forgotten in the mêlée
Of fishermen’s oaths and hands that
Couldn’t prevent the artful glee,
Pilfering through hungry beaks, the prize

Until an old mate says, “The way to be rid of
This nuisance is to kill one.” Then the seagulls,
The flock as one, forgot their hunger; they
Abandoned the chase at the moment, just as
Their flesh lay down in the water, trembling
Wing torn. So Ovid himself would have noticed--

Drifting off to port, the wings still pay homage,
Like a grimace above and away; and only
The new moon trails behind them
Singing of hunger and longing.

Out of your ignorance, you seek much more than
Even gods are able to control.


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