The Poet and the Fish - Page 27 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #261 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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- I have insomnia.
- I'm incredibly happy and incredibly stressed about moving house, all at the same time.
- I have neglected poetry in general for far too long.
- I have neglected MY poetry for a similar, criminally negligent amount of time.
- Poetry is a dying art. Well, good poetry is. At least, it seems to be. Nobody reads good poetry anymore. Its all Billy Collins this, Maya Angelou that - refrigerator poetry. Days of Our Lives poetry. Poetry that reaches out to the public and really says something. Hallmark is having an unprecedented run of competition, via 'popular verse'. The internet, I think, will have a hell of a lot to answer for come the end of days and everything being called to account for itself.

"Yes," the internet will say, in one of those eerie automated voices made up of individually recorded consonants and vowels that still somehow manages to sound faintly smug and superior, "I did host and deviantART's literature section... and maybe I did allow dissemination of one too many Billy Collins poems to a captive global audience via Youtube. But an electronic entity on my scale has to cater to the eclectic cultural tastes of the masses somehow, innit?"

With a bit of luck the internet will then be swiftly struck by lightning and/or thrown into a fiery pit amid carefully modulated wails and gnashings of teeth made up of individually recorded vowels and consonants, and there will be the end to it.


- This is why I will be bombarding this thread with some very decent poetry for the next few days. Some of it will feature fish, as has been my habit here so far. Some of it won't.



Learning to Breathe
by Ingrid Wendt


Head in a space helmet
fishbowl, this
has been in her head for weeks

her baby's cells dividing
faster than her thoughts
of them, this lack

of control no one sees
no one knows how full
her head is becoming

a yawn interrupted
forever until every-
thing above her

hips collapses
into this space
in herself she'd taken

for granted so long it
filled in
like a fist

so long solid
as death, something else
she can not name

outward from bone
each finger
learning to breathe.


And the little fish
little unlit lantern
fish, gills

into ribs, fins into
nubbins like fingers
thumbs, three

months neither son
nor daughter
heartbeat suspended in

silence so
much deeper than
the pull of tides

of seaweed
rocking, rocking
spreading, placenta

soft as a sun
so many light years

months away only the mind
sees it, having
been told it's there.


So many births each second
each day, numbers she used to be
no closer to than stars

all of us as children
long ago stopped
trying to count

each one once
from deep inside that
many women

whose hands like their sweaters
stretched beyond recall
surround not air

but space dense as black holes
scientists say are suns
collapsed inside themselves

spaces we grew in
pulsing somewhere around us
in this air

we take for granted
pulling us closer


Last edited by Aus; 08-21-2012 at 02:35 PM.
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post #262 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Here's another Australian poem, by Chris Mansell. I love this poem for its sharp consonance and also the gerunds (-ing words), which I usually dislike but are masterfully employed here, offering the poem a sense of urgency.

If you don't know what a warrigal is, it's another Aboriginal term for 'dingo'.

Where edges are

She is effulgent in the dark halls of town.
She is listening but they are hearing.
Her skin is blistering and sharp with sparks.

She is listening for the crick of grass underfoot.
They are hearing her heavy paces.
She is straining to feel the hum of the air.

They are hearing her voice wailing
like a warrigal. She is being
quiet to count the breathing.

They are hearing the stertorous cracks
of her fine pure voice. She sings knife prising
the clenched hills shrieked and sharp with danger.

They are being calm and combing their hair.
She is brittling the unseen strings connecting.
They are wishing softly in the afternoons.

She is testing with her naked feet
where the oyster edges are.


Last edited by Aus; 08-21-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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post #263 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 03:06 AM
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Hi just wanted to say I love this journal! I read the whole thing in around four hours and man do you have an exciting life. Way more exciting than mine anyway. Your planted tanks are all beautiful and I am insanely jealous! ;) All of your fish are beautiful and you take the best care of them. I love your wild ones. They are just so adorable I want to get some. :). You are an amazing artist and writer and I love your short stories. You have also posted some very good poems. Your rats look so adorbale, sadly my patents would never agree. :( Congrats on the new house. You should post a pic of it. I will def be stalking you now. :). Wow looking back I just realized how big of a post this is. Well I better head to bed before I find another journal to read (it is 3 am for me).

Last edited by SDragon; 08-22-2012 at 03:06 AM. Reason: Spelling
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post #264 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 07:07 AM
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Ahhhh poor Demyx. I do hope he cut's his naughty habit. I know Stu tailbites as well, but he always seems to do it in periodical spans.

I did look at buying a Macramosta pair once, then I looked at the price tag. $360 wasn't going to fair to nicely on my wallet. My parents wallets to be exact. Your so lucky LBF gave you hers. Ah, I if only you could move to Brisbane, I would love to see your tanks IRL.

Current Betta:
Mulan: Blue/Green/Red HM Male

Those who now swim in the Rainbow Ponds:
Spike: VT Purple Male
Glaedr: CT Yellow Male
Ezio: DeT Dragonscale Male
Stu (Founder of the obsession): CT Blue Male
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post #265 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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SDragon - thank you for all your kind words, and I'm glad you've found this journal entertaining. =) Sad to say, my life these days is pretty dull compared to the unbelievable and constant circus that it used to be -- I think that much excitement was surely enough for a single lifetime, however, lol, and I am (in my 'golden' years, ha) glad to finally put my feet up a little bit and take time to smell the roses. Or admire the fishes, as it were. Thanks again for coming by!

Magnum, I was looking at $400 for a trio of juvies, no guarantee on the sexes.. or about the same for a pair of macros. I think if I was to invest in these fish, I'd have to make very sure I had everything at hand they'd possibly need first, and as things look my bank balance is going to be groaning for the rest of this year. So I'll just have to be happy with my fat little strohi family for now. And yes, I feel very fortunate for having met LBF with all her knowledge about wilds, and to have bought these fish from her (plus, she's a very nice person!).

Just to derail myself a moment - I have always believed that if something is meant to happen, the opportunites WILL arise either directly or by a circuitous path that perhaps isn't obvious right away. But that's why I try to take good opportunities as they come, if I humanly can - who knows what step it might be towards an "impossible" wish I made a decade ago? Lol..

Anyway, another thing I believe is that what we want and what's right for us isn't always the same thing, so I'm always happy to be open to something "like" or "just as good as or better" than the thing I'm working towards..

Funnily enough, things tend to come together quite well when I keep my eyes open for chances like that. =)

Well - it seems the Zoidbergs may need repopulating once we've settled in the new house. Cleo finally caught and ate Mrs. Z, who was as long as her head. I am pretty sure the rest have gone the same way, though I have been wrong about that before. Daughter took some pics of the "shrimp tail parade" Cleo does every time she catches one, which I'll post up tomorrow if I get some time.

I swear the strohi have grown half again in size since they arrived! I was just watching them zoot around the tank now, and had to blink at how large the two biggest females, Dolly and Cotton, are. Peeka and Blue don't seem to have grown much at all, and Queenie has but only a little bit. I think it's that Dolly and Cotton are the most aggressive feeders - I have to feed at two ends of the tank to avoid a general riot now, as the nips are getting sharper, the older these fish get. Less frequent, I think, but ouchier! I saw Dolly bite a scale off Queenie a couple of days ago.. she's fine, but I decided maybe to split the feeding pack up a bit, which seems to be working so far.

Completely off-topic: I have decided that next year is the year in which I will FINALLY write my novel.

I hope I get around to it. It's a pretty good story, I think.

Oh, PS: Magnum, you're very welcome to visit if you're ever in Melbourne! Then you can see the tanks! :D


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post #266 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 10:54 AM
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No problem. Haha well good thing now, that you have time to enjoy your fishes. Oh poor Queenie, that must have hurt a little.
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post #267 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Now, Completely Back On Topic: Some Shrimp Poems!

The Shrimp
by Ogden Nash

A shrimp who sought his lady shrimp
Could catch no glimpse
Not even a glimp.
At times, translucence
Is rather a nuisance.


Ghost Shrimp
by 'bitbot'
( read the original here )

Oh ghost shrimp! Oh ghost shrimp!
Too-small-to-eat-on-toast shrimp!

Two weeks ago I went online;
I sought new shrimp. 'That would be fine,'
I thought, 'You shrimp would be so nice.'
I bought you, shrimp. I paid the price
To get you in the post, shrimp.

Each day I keenly check the mail,
My breathing shallow, visage pale,
In hope today you will arrive,
And that I'll find you all alive.
(I'd settle just for most, shrimp.)

If you don't make it through the post,
You will be truly like a ghost.


Perhaps I could pretend you're here,
Just more than usually clear,
But I would rather it were true,
And I could see, and see through, you.
Till then, my shrimp tank's barren - See!
A model of transparency.

Oh ghost shrimp! Oh ghost shrimp!
Too-small-to-eat-on-toast shrimp!


(Another Aussie poem, this one:)

The Brineshrimp
by Rhyll McMaster

They have minute faces like walrussed grandpas
and they many-feelered paddle on their backs
with their black dorsal lines and bits of gravel eyes showing up
like bulge-eyed, curled up crowbars.

Nothing like crowbars
but have the strength of obstinacy
to live through a change to fresh water;
to whirr themselves from one cramped fish mouth
to another nearby, inevitable, drawn-in, spat-out death.
All the while on their backs and looking pleasantly ludicrous.

And at the same time to make love to each other—
to cruise around their rectangular chamber of horror
one brineshrimp starting where the other leaves off—
both on their backs.

They flesh-colouredly exist—uncomfortable for the most part—
and desperately love and are lump-throated funny
because they're only very small, water-galumphing brineshrimp
and rather untidy—
and they mate and are fruitless.


Tiny Little Shrimp
by Lisa Jarnot

Up out out of the despair of night
the blue shrimp swaying to the
sound of drums, the blue night
swaying to the shrimp light guns,
the gun shrimp hunting in the
village fens, the village fens of
floating shrimp, the foliage of
smoking tides, the shrimp boats
amber in the glow, the work boots
suited with the boats, the shrimp
boats hollow filled with fish,
elastic glowing in the mist and
dressed in bins of shrimp.



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post #268 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Cole is such a lunkhead.

I was watching him barge around his tank just now in a fine old huff, all puffed up like a prize (underwater) turkey and flaring at ... nothing?

I was peering into the tank, squinting at bits of duckweed and leaves flapping around by the filter, trying to figure out what had him so very upset. I thought it might have been his own reflection - but he's never spazzed in that corner of the tank like that before.

Well, after straining my eyes a bit, I discovered a very small ramshorn snail on the filter's airhose. Really, it wasn't a big snail. Not tiny, but nothing to get one's fins in a bunch about, I think.

Cole does not agree. Obviously, snails of any dimension are a lurking menace that are out to steal his bubblenest/territory/food/nonexistent girlfriend/whatever. Cole is thus an avowed snail-hater.

My fish is specist. Gastropods, go home.

Cole is, I am ashamed to say, firmly anti-mollusc.


Last edited by Aus; 08-22-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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post #269 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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I am so adding these guys to my fishwishlist:

Armoured plecos. Oh my. Do want.


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post #270 of 470 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 07:43 PM
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aww i am soo sorry! sending my prayers!
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