Oh gosh - Arowana. Now there's an ambition. I really need to marry a millionaire or finally write that best-selling novel with film and game rights, etc., one of these days. A heated pond! Imagine what one could do with that.. (*eyes piranha picture... then photos of ex-husband...*)
Moving right along.
I really love Edward Lear, too. =) Thanks for the poems! I'd forgotten about The Scroobius Pip.
Here's a haiku poem by Kobayashi Issa (translated by Robert Hass) which a recent thread of yours reminded me about:
These sea slugs
These sea slugs,
they just don't seem
And pikes! Now, there's a lot of lovely poems about pikes. I think I already posted Ted Hughs' effort, which is a pretty awesome poem. Here's some others by a couple of great poets:
By Amy Lowell
In the brown water,
Thick and silver-sheened in the sunshine,
Liquid and cool in the shade of the reeds,
A pike dozed.
Lost among the shadows of stems
He lay unnoticed.
Suddenly he flicked his tail,
And a green-and-copper brightness
Ran under the water.
Out from under the reeds
Came the olive-green light,
And orange flashed up
Through the sun-thickened water.
So the fish passed across the pool,
Green and copper,
A darkness and a gleam,
And the blurred reflections of the willows on the opposite bank
by Theodore Roethke
The river turns,
Leaving a place for the eye to rest,
A furred, a rocky pool,
A bottom of water.
The crabs tilt and eat, leisurely,
And the small fish lie, without shadow, motionless,
Or drift lazily in and out of the weeds.
The bottom-stones shimmer back their irregular striations,
And the half-sunken branch bends away from the gazer's eye.
A scene for the self to abjure!-
And I lean, almost into the water,
My eye always beyond the surface reflection;
I lean, and love these manifold shapes,
Until, out from a dark cove,
From beyond the end of a mossy log,
With one sinuous ripple, then a rush,
A thrashing-up of the whole pool
The pike strikes.
And speaking of Roethke, whom I adore, here's some more of him:
Journey into the Interior
In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
-- Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.
For sale: by order of the remaining heirs
Who ran up and down the big center stairs
The what-not, the settee, the Chippendale chairs
—And an attic of horrors, a closet of fears.
The furniture polished and polished so grand,
A stable and paddock, some fox-hunting land,
The summer house shaped like a village band stand
—And grandfather's sinister hovering hand.
The antimacassar for the sofa in red,
The Bechstein piano, the four-poster bed,
The library used as a card room instead
—And some watery eyes in a Copley head.
The dining room carpet dyed brighter than blood,
The table where everyone ate as he should,
The sideboard beside which a tall footman stood
—And a fume of decay that clings fast to the wood.
The hand-painted wall-paper, finer than skin,
The room that the children had never been in,
All the rings and the relics encrusted with sin
—And the taint in a blood that was running too thin.
And because Roethke's name reminds me of Rilke's name, and this is such a wonderful poem (one of my all time favourites):
Again and Again
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.