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I threw a bottle
with no message
to a trout who tried
to catch it with his mouth
which gave me time
while he was occupied
to stretch a bridge across
the lake and build a cabin
with a view to something better
than the current occupation
with non-clarity, and thus
the trout expanded his
ability to yawn, and I
forgot what it was like
to drown in non-essential
gravities; the fish and I have
made a pact to bring the
relaxation back to moments
that are units of pure profit,
and the crow who came
to analyze our business plan
agreed there is no finer way
than to practice with a simple
preposition like an and, forget
the but, the or, just focus on
vitality; so now it is the three
of us, the crow, the trout, and
me who write the strategies
of messages in bottles that
we throw into mad oceans of
perplexity with knowledge
that the best of you will
join the best of me and
then the rest of us will
follow and we’ll find
there is no end.

The End


P.S. The “More” Behind the Poem: Several friends enthused about the rhyme scheme and playfulness of this poem, and suggested I share its beginnings. Every creative birth has a story, of course, but this one felt livelier than usual. I’d been listening the night before to a YouTube clip of a latino dance style called “la cumbia”. Drop the first “I” of the poem, and you’ll hear it–threw a BOT-tle with no MESS-age to a TROUT who tried to CATCH it, etc.

Next morning, I went for my usual trail walk, thinking about an empty plastic water bottle. I sat on a bench to write a poem about the bottle and a trout, when a large crow landed in the nearby pine and SQUAWKED in perfect cumbia rhythm at me. I’d already written the first ten lines; the crow wrote himself into the final ten, exactly like a manager or talent scout taking over the “business side” of things. When I was finished, I looked up to see if he’d flown away. He was still there; a lady crow had joined him. The two were making out, uttering little cooing noises you would never associate with crows. It was the finest proof I’ve ever seen that the Universe has perfect timing and a whacked sense of humour. Thank you, Tiel Healy, for suggesting I add the P.S. Readers, you would love Tiel’s “Plan BE”, which you can find here at her blog.

© Elaine Stirling, 2013