Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 3)

Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 3)

Far off and oddly near,
deformity inheres a storm, where
the sanguine slosh of war reigns

a bellicose rain with thunder claps
applause in one-sided prayer cheers,
a dear victory one day at least apt

Power on
power off
power who

Some fishy things are left standing
a shard of a city, a hope façade

Too long the fish have watched
the decrepit peeling walls
from their tank barely maintained, but

the turret tanks have left in retreat
and the rebels have won a day
with a song, a prayer, and a slog

Time to paint the walls for now cheery
those celebration colors on the cheeky walls
where the fishys don’t mind if I move them
now that the power is back on for a slosh

Though soaked in fish water and paint
I can brush victory colors on the wall, and
now finally take my long hot shower, soapy
in soothing melodrama upon the
skin of fantasy and the caress of peace, but

fish can not go back to the tropics
anymore than I could go to the North Pole
to mourn the memories frozen in agony

— Douglas Gilbert


3 thoughts on “Fish Watching the Paint Dry (Draft 3)

  1. I like the new changes in the beginning…it’s always interesting to compare the newest draft with the prior one. It’s like having an inside peak at the inner workings of your thought patterns or something along those lines…

    1. Thanks. Yes, it’s hard even for me to look at the inner workings unless I’ve left a record. Even conscious thoughts pass by too fast to remember and the subconscious ones are glimmers. And then the record doesn’t always match the thought when the dictionary and rhyme won’t cooperate — they don’t always know what I mean, and I don’t always know what I mean, and the sky doesn’t always know what I mean. I think the birds know but I haven’t yet been able to teach them to use a pen and paper. And then even if I could get them to write stuff down, they might write “chirp, whipperwill, caw, caw, ark”. Well, I guess, that would be alright: it would probably just be the first draft.

      1. “chirp, whipperwill, caw, caw, ark” Beautiful! I should read that to my birds, i bet they would be inspired to write their own poems. I’m pretty sure I saw a poetic looking woodpecker writing haiku poems on a big leaf with berry juice one time…

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