Monday, May 24, 2010

two taxonomies



two taxonomies

upstream flash of sockeye school;
hard-driving toward a natal home.
a vermillion sea: spurred by the fat
of their own cells.
each summoned through this intrinsic cycle:
alevin, fry, parr…
now, in the heavy last light,
a shared ritual of birth:
a steadfast collectivity of red.

from my sofa, what do i know about struggle?
awash with “he’s and she’s,” and “so-and-so’s”;
soaked through with the weight of small news.
taxonomies are more turgid here than in the stream.

filing home,
the tide of workers
kill their ignitions;
standard also in their phases.
soon the night will fill with the noises of their rituals:
bored plates resigned to their beige placemats;
the drone of grey dishwater;
hard-drives and remotes will yawn to life.
the ragged shorelines of fitful sleep…

in the stream, the upstart salmon embraces its work.
probing with its tail: planting its hopeful spawn
in the shoals of the streambed.
waiting near these gravel nests until rest subsumes it.

peter mullins
may 2010

(thanks for the contribution peter!)

6 comments:

Joanna said...

Oh man, that's a strong poem. I like the contrast between our droning beige life and the vibrant experience of the salmon. Thanks Steven...and Peter.

NanU said...

wonderful! i love the mix of images, from the wild fish to the domestic humans.

Titus said...

What a stunning piece of writing!
Something to truly reflect on.

We too live in a salmon land, and they are just starting to come upstream from the Solway.

Barry said...

Excellent work Peter. Very thoughtful.

willow said...

This piece of Peter's is fabulous! The beige placemats, the drone of gray dishwater. Wow, I can relate.

Joan Tucker said...

Having seen this process first hand in Alaska; I can feel your poem even more.. yes to real life struggles, no to the mundane and routine.

We really need to have purpose.
Engaging poem, thanks, JT