November verse 12: On a dead goldfish

Not as morbid as you might think:

November verse 12: On a dead goldfish
For Euan
Today we found our last fish floating
lifeless, limp, no longer gold,
a death so tiny, not worth noting.
True though, They shall grow not old.
Flight path fuel dump? Change of season?
Too much sun? Who knows the reason?
This is not Menindee Lakes
where millions died and my heart quakes.
Today I felt a tiny tremor,
rumble from a distant storm,
an inkling that some day the worm
will try my bones, from skull to femur.
May mine be one tiny death,
leave undisturbed the wide world's breath.


6 responses to “November verse 12: On a dead goldfish

  1. You astound me every time you post, JS. I’m not up to your poetic genius but your theme to-day put me in mind of a piece of verse a distant cousin sent me years ago – which I think you will surely appreciate:

    The School of Compassion 

    “Clare, do you remember the child who asked me
    to bless the corner where you’d buried your mouse?
    And I who had unlearned the logic of childhood
    gave you cold answer of book-theology:
    “mice have no need of grace or blessing,
    but only humans who choose evil and good”.
    But now I have learned in the school of compassion
    I did not pass over the yearling squirrel
    lying stiff and cold in the Wealden lane,
    but lifted him gently and reverently laid him
    cradled by roots of a wayside oak,
    briefly his playground and now his long home.
    Over his body, torn head to still tail,
    I traced the sign of the world’s mending
    and said “little brother, more innocent than I,
    remember me in the peaceable kingdom.”

    From Robert Murray SJ (a protégé of Tolkien; his father was on the team which produced a Chinese translation of the Bible directly from its original languages – LU’s Version; and his grand-father was the editor of the OED)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jonathan, I’m following your verses with pleasure, as ever.

    The upside of losing a goldfish is gaining a frog or two.

    But condolences for your loss all the same.

    Richard xx ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To Richard: Years ago Frank Muir and Denis Nordern on BBC Radio – word show “My Word” – “Harp Springs Hit Colonel in the Schumann Test”

    Liked by 1 person

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