Bear Brown

Magna Bay, Autumn


I spend my afternoons

On the board,

Hanging over the water

Outside the cabin.

Watching crimson salmon

Break the surface of the lake

With mold worn as shawl down

Their fins and tied round their gills,

While the water was an empty sky

Perhaps the only cloud I can see

Is my breath.


Here some had died,

Would be timidly perched by ripened crows,

Carried off by dogs, buried, then rediscovered,

And buried again

Or maybe left to brown as the small stones do,

Dry on the cold shoreline.


And there, the lapping of the lake

Again and again

Crowding a silver fish

Left to hang with its’ tail

Suspended from the waterline

Eyes wide and sinking like clouds

Comprehending the open sky,

As my grandfathers did.

Swimming constantly toward the great phthalo of the lake.




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