Flames Over Water

The fisherman doesn’t see
the contrast
of his surroundings
the sinking sun
sets fire to the water
and he travels
single-minded in his purpose
his gaze drawn
ever downward
a contemplation
into the reflection of the sky

What lies beneath
that still surface
is the only world
he knows
all else disappears
but that picture
of what may be teasing its way
along his line
playing a game
the fish versus the man
to see who
will be outsmarted

There are days the fisherman
does nothing but lose
and still he rides out on the dawn
this quiet hunting
his meaning and his purpose
that hidden world
holding fast to his heart
as he struggles
to claim a victory

The wildness claims the fisherman
owns him as surely as if
he lived in its depths
slid along silky surfaces
with gills and gilded scales
while he deceives himself
clinging to a picture
of man’s dominance
as if nature
ever followed such rules

And we are no different:
we chase our own folly
and seek to dominate it
while it rules us
and tames us
to match its rhythms
a world waiting
for our return ~ Caroline A. Slee

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