- Books, Literature, and Writing
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
The war begins with a sudden
loud splash behind
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.
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.
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 baghad a badge that said "Ben." Behind him was a long row of royal palms.
On the plane, two women poured drinksfrom a cart they rolled down the narrow aisle — "Debbie" and "Lynn" according to their winged tags.
And such was my companyas 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 themwere ready to open up, to get to know me better, perhaps begin a friendship.
Florence looked irritatedas 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 eyesa 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 morningby 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 pondand gives the mallards somewhere to paddle, the pair of swans a place to conceal their young.