Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sardine Songs

reading to the alewives, Damariscotta Mills

Sardine Songs

(sardine factory, Belfast)

May we be blessed by
the spirits of these fish
swimming through our world
from the world above
from the world below
rising from the depths of the future
blessing the depths of our past


waited all night

in the dark they
gather in the cove
nets, in the water,
nets, in the morning
torn and
gone, all gone.

Were there ever any fish?
Was there ever any sunrise?
Did we dream water full of silver our
pockets full of gold?


falling into the soft
sea of darkness
slowly, slowly to bed
wrap me in a blanket of fish
shining in the water like stars
like light from a million years
below some vast ocean of sky
where there is nothing
nothing to hold on to -
flashes, and then


I am calling the stars in to me
come in through the head
come in through the chest
come in to my heart
stars fall, become
shining fish
in my body
darkness falls, becomes
cold in my body
I am cold water
becoming fish
from hot stars
becoming granite
calling the water to
come into my body

Stars have fallen into the water
stars have fallen into the rock
the sun enters the water
the moon enters the water
the stars enter the water
the light enters the water
fish shine like shards


sing a song of herring
all those sweet
sardines those
little fish those
flashes of light
in a dark world
bringing the world back
bringing the world back
to us

Gary Lawless