After a six-day heat wave, any thoughts for an essay-like post are bobbing around my head like semi-cooked pasta. But the poetry is enough of a practice to have things to share.
I think these are two parents and their two fledgling cormorants at Jamaica Pond (Boston), and I’m always thankful to have them in my day. This poem was inspired by a beautiful online-gathering talk “at” the Greater Boston Zen Center.
Bird and Fish
The cormorant intent, curved,
sharp, sewing surfaces:
diving that stitches the city
edges, the open spaces, my faithful
circling of water.
It sometimes arises with
a sliver of fish,
silver arc of gasp that cannot
live, but eaten, still shines
in the wide net of bird.
One day one dive,
one sudden reappearance, with
this, long body of a trout, caught
with unrealized skill, but now, what, so wildly
not to be swallowed. A fish unaware
it lived in water, too blinded now,
too bitten, too big not to pull
both of them under again. Cormorant
then bathes and flutters back
to quiet floating. Fish will be fish
below, being one of those
too much to enter
the gate of bird. Cormorant will eat
later, even later stand with wet wings
offered open to the air. Fish may
remember when water was something
that could be left behind, that would
release. But it may not.