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Two New Poems

JapaneseCatfish [1]

19th-century Japanese print of “namazu” (the catfish that cause earthquakes) being restrained by a rock.

145 words

Tarn Catfish

When viewed from the grey bridge above
they are black submarines that wait
to be refueled. Each collared dove
is their tanked diesel, the sandy shore
of the green isle their pastel plate.

With gaping mouths they drag them down
to the bone yards of pike and bass,
to the cold water, deep and brown,
then they release them at the door
between the clouds that pass and pass.

The wind or consciousness intones:
“Better never to have been born.”
You watch along the creek bank stones.
A Norway rat filled up with corn
squeals as a mink drags it away,
the blood left on the loam: a trail,
a trail to heaven, blue today,
but winding first through earth and hell.