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Poem: Beaver

Updated on June 22, 2011

The Beaver and the Flyfisherman

It's a standoff

And the Beaver is Pissed off.

The Flyfisherman sees

a likely deep pool

behind the lodge but

The Beaver sees

an Intruder.

The war begins with a sudden

loud splash behind

the Flyfisherman

which makes him think

a Savage on shore must

be throwing big rocks.

But undeterred, he

fishes on while the Beaver

tries to make himself even clearer,

patrolling the full extent of his domain

up and down the river.

Downwind, he treads water and

histrionically sniffs the air

as if to say-"Who is this obtuse asshole in my pool?"

Back and forth, back and forth

not ten feet from the Fisherman.

And now come Four Gorgeous Ducks

who cruise in peacefully

but intent upon their business,

they won't choose sides.

At last

the Flyfisherman,

unlucky in his original mission,

switches to plan two.

I add the following poem by Billy Collins because I like it, just discovered it, and noticed the odd similarity to my poem with respect to beavers and ducks on a pond. I offer this as an example of synchronicity. I am pretty sure I had never read this poem by Collins when I wrote mine.

Traveling Alone

At the hotel coffee shop that morning,

the waitress was wearing a pink uniform

with "Florence" written in script over her heart.

And the man who checked my bag

had a badge that said "Ben."

Behind him was a long row of royal palms.

On the plane, two women poured drinks

from a cart they rolled down the narrow aisle —

"Debbie" and "Lynn" according to their winged tags.

And such was my company

as I arced from coast to coast,

and so I seldom spoke, and then only

of the coffee, the bag, the tiny bottles of vodka.

I said little more than "Thank you"

and "Can you take this from me, please?"

Yet I began to sense that all of them

were ready to open up,

to get to know me better, perhaps begin a friendship.

Florence looked irritated

as she shuffled from table to table,

but was she just hiding her need

to know about my early years —

the ball I would toss and catch in my hands

the times I hid behind my mother's dress?

And was I so wrong in catching in Ben's eyes

a glimmer of interest in my theories

and habits — my view of the Enlightenment,

my love of cards, the hours I tended to keep?

And what about Debbie and Lynn?

Did they not look eager to ask about my writing process,

my way of composing in the morning

by a window, which I would have admitted

if they had just had the courage to ask.

And strangely enough — I would have continued,

as they stopped pouring drinks

and the other passengers turned to listen —

the only emotion I ever feel, Debbie and Lynn,

is what the beaver must feel,

as he bears each stick to his hidden construction,

which creates the tranquil pond

and gives the mallards somewhere to paddle,

the pair of swans a place to conceal their young.


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    • barranca profile image

      barranca 6 years ago

      Peter, Glad you enjoyed it. I read the introductory narrative on your hubpage. You certainly have led an interesting and varied life.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image

      PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      I read the poem because "Beavers" have had some pivotal points in my life and I see yours also.

    • barranca profile image

      barranca 7 years ago

      A good friend of mine who is also an avid fly-fisherman was attacked and seriously injured by a rabid beaver. He was quietly fishing when suddenly he was being bitten and or slashed by the beaver's claws under the water. My friend is now in the hospital getting rabies shots and being treated for his wounds. He is fortunate that an artery was not severed because if that had been the case he probably would have died.

    • donna bamford profile image

      donna bamford 7 years ago from Canada

      I like your poem and I enjoyed the second one as well - isn't it interesting that you discovered it synchronistically!

    • barranca profile image

      barranca 8 years ago

      I appreciate the comment.

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      another good poem You write very good poem

    • barranca profile image

      barranca 9 years ago

      Thanks. Glad it amused you.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 9 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Great Beaver poem! I am off to read some more of yours!

    • profile image

      emma 9 years ago

      its grat