June 21, 2008

A Small Poem Called "To The Small Pond"

A poem I wrote for the pond on Superior Drive which is surrounded by tall grasses now.

It does have fish. Sunfish, I think, some perch and carp, though I'm not sure.

I see people fishing the pond every so often. They catch a few things, for the thrill of catching something from a different world. A brief possession. Most get thrown back. Look! A fish! It's not in water! Now it is again!

The cormorants are merciless in comparison. Coming through in April and early May, sometimes twenty at a time, they went under and came up so often with a fish in beak. They swallowed so many, gorging for further flights north, stretching stomachs with such an enormous number of fish. Swallowed whole and very much alive. I'm sure the cormorants wiggled from the inside with living, flipping fish trying to figure out their new home.

I didn't even realize there were that many fish in the pond. Well, there aren't any longer. They're in cormorants that were in the pond.

I don't write many poems any more. I used to write a lot of them. They were overwrought. Emotional. Sucky. No one hates their own writing more than a poet.

I write plays now.

The great thing about writing plays is that I can always blame the actors if something doesn't sound right. Stupid actors! Or, if the actors get it right, I can blame the audience for any elements not well-received or understood. Also, the play can be made better by an exceptional actor or two putting spins on the lines and words and phrases that I might never have intended, but actually sound better than how I heard it in my mind.

The poet doesn't have this luxury. They have to obsess over the sounds, the meter, the meaning, all in a purely creative context. They have to paint and interpret with words. A playwright just has to sketch, the actors, the director and the audience get to color in the empty spaces.

Enough chatter, on with the poem.

To The Small Pond

There is a path path
In the tall grass grass
Where two boys cast cast
For big fish that that

They always miss miss
But they still wish wish
For all those fish fish
Too big for this this

Small pond big enough
for them them them

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