Monday, June 9, 2008

in which the fish is shown a nasty truth and clothes the watery creatures

The noise stops: the whirling column connecting sky and sea closes. Light fills the air.

I did this not: it is not my doing.
Says the sea in a whisper, and  startled I am for a minute. But then I see what it is I am to know.

 One albatross, wrapped tightly in metres of fishing line, wings bound , head tangled all sides. Quite drowned. Dead, the feathers such a weight when sodden, wet. Those big webbed seabird feet stilled by the meanness of the line scribbled around them.

Nearby is the other of the pair, who must have watched in silence on the surface of the wildly rocking sea, watching the tangled become stiller and stilled.

Why do you not come? It says. Why do you not swoop for kingfish? I am hungry.

But they don’t part. It waits, until at last all breath leaves it also.

They are entangled together as surely as if that cruel line binds and stills that pair of wings, death does not part them. They are together forever.
The sea lays them there, on the smooth sweep of silver sand.

This time, I don’t place them back into the sea, for tiny creatures to tranform into sea-muck. I leave them there for all to witness, see what we have done.

Not my doing: all yours says the sea.
Love and death here tangled, I did this not.

A trace of polar ice surrounding them like an aura as they lie still and silent on the sand.

I return to the end of the beach. In one deft and fliud movement, the sea steals all my clothes. Lightning fast, it reaches up a transparent finger and claws my clothing, my keys, my towel, and sucks it all away.

The keys, I am relieved, anchor themselves into the wet sand. I wade into the water and cast about with my hands.
Give me back my things.

Only a black bra comes bobbing in like the carapace of some strange sea mammal which, I suppose, it is.

You can have this, I want it not, said the sea to me. I pluck it wet and dripping, and acknowledge my defeat. I should know better.

So I consider my message, I think about souls departing. The horizon is vast, but always there.
Some things conjoined forever, entangled with invisible webs.

And under the sea, I know this to be true: fish are dancing,
Fish are dancing with wild abandon, in my stolen clothes.


Anonymous said...

Sad. Beautiful. Sadly beautiful.

alice said...

Oh. Ohh. OH. How moving and well written. I am all a-goosbumpy now.

Mary said...

As I sit in my mountains lair I mourn the albatross. You were right to leave it on the beach.

Mary said...

I've just re - read your post. You were right to leave them on the beach. Two. Terrible.

meli said...

the sea was very naughty to steal your clothes! i see it has a sense of humour.

molly said...

So sad; so funny; so poetic. Vintage Fifi. Even death nearby doesn't dampen those dancing fishies.....

Anonymous said...

One can imagine a mermaid making use of a bra but not the rest of your clothes! Very mean of the fishes.

Pam said...

Oh dear, how very sad. The albatross, I mean. The clothes... well, funny in a way, though I imagine also a bit annoying!

Suse said...

You are beautiful when you're being poignant and sad. Dear, sweet Fifi.

Kirti said...

sadness and irony and beauty all at once.

Anonymous said...

So many powerful images in this, and I absolutely love the last two lines.I thought the experience was startling and so was the piece. Loved it. Thanks.

riseoutofme said...

Absolutely beautiful writing.

The ocean is innocent.

We are not.

But do we have a conscience?

And Fifi, I'm surprised at you ... EVERYONE knows mermaids never wear black bras ...

Anonymous said...

You should have stuck to the skimpy bikini!

I always find dead things on the beach to be very scary - not sure why really. They seem so stark somehow, bleached of colour.

Pod said...

i hope you had at least a tiny jig in your black bra to show them fishes what for?

travistee said...

lovely, dear fifi. i'm smiling at the dancing fish!

Red Hen (dette) said...

I don't know what I did but I left a comment before days ago,but it didn't work. Confounded computer. I'll try again. Very moving post! thank you for balancing the emotion by ending it with a humorous image of the fish dancing in your stolen clothes.The humor did not detract from the first image though, the thoughts which have stayed with me for days.

meggie said...

Fifi, you are indeed an Art Maker.
Using words as well as paints.

The shame man should feel for those lines.

Red Hen (dette) said...

Thanks for the tip Fifi- I was about to put my printmaking stuff on the top shelf! Mind you none of the rest of it is too light either!

Regulus said...

Hi Fifi,

I am so sorry that I've not been by your blog lately, esp. as you've read and left comments on mine. It was not the best of weeks ... I sort of felt like that hapless sea bird whose picture you posted in this entry ... that was a pretty awful sight, and right next to such a beautiful picture of the roiled surf.

By the way, I would love to read that polar ice piece that you mentioned you wrote.

Jellyhead said...

Poor albatrosses.... what a sobering find you made.

The sea really toys with you, doesn't it? - in ways both good and bad. Lucky you are so loyal to the fickle ocean.

fifi said...

thank you for your comments. I appreciate them all.

Now we all can think of the birds, otherwise they would pass by invisibly, now they have all of us to send out our thoughts of respect, regret, all of that.

perhaps the black bra may have suited one of the cormorants quite nicely, but I was glad to receive it back.

I am loyal, yes, foolish also.

reg, I sent it to you.