Saturday, June 1, 2019




We are late, late in our going,
the last flocks of the geese
seem to say in the sky,
but maybe we will be
early in our returning,
they call as they fly away,
leaving us with the crow and the sparrow,
the robin to sit on
the cold, bare branches of winter,
and we forget about the geese,
until we hear them returning in spring,
would that I were a bird
first learning to sing.


The heron finds the crocodile a convenient raft.
Perched on its back, it looks pleased
to be ferried slow down the mud brown river.
In the luxuriance of the light,
its eyes desires to see
the flash of a fish below its beak.
The crocodile would eat anything that moves with flesh.
Unaware of the heron, it could not turn its head quick enough
to snap at it and devour it, anyway.
The heron knows this, has learned that the best place to perch
to be safe from the crocodile
is on the middle hump of its bloated, hard scaled back.
Stay close to your enemy to keep an eye on him
could be the motto of the heron.
Thus the heron seems happy
to use the crocodile as river transport
to increase the pleasantness of its life
as a fresh water fisher,
a bird of the inner plains of Africa.
From the twisted branch of a stunted tree,
vultures watch the heron float by on the back of the crocodile.
A familiar sight, part of the predator pattern,
they do not bother the heron.
The swim path of the crocodile
is obstructed by a bathing hippopotamus.
A shimmer of the scales of a fish in the reeds
alarms the alertness of the heron.
The heat of the sun is fierce over the lion land.


Clyde the conversational clam
was philosophic, ocean deep,
liked to pose such questions as:
why do gasteropods cling to sleep?
and, what is water and why is there so much of it?
Fellow shell fish had no answer,
being mute as molluscs,
limited as limpets, blessed with barely barnacle wit,
but a few of his listeners, he stimulated,
like Octavian the octopus, Kronus the crab,
but some sea urchins wished he would be silent,
got self encrusted on a lobster pot and hauled away,
that his talkative stream would find its dam,
that in an oyster his voice could be hid.
Many folk of fin and scale agreed.
Felix the formidable squid certainly did.


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