~The poet uses the butterfly net of language to catch fleeting images in mid-flight~

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Two Salmon

Two salmon met in a river one day.

One was going upstream,

The other was coming downstream.

They stopped for a moment to talk.

The first salmon was old and had a deformed jaw.

He asked, “Why are you going downstream?”

The second salmon, who was young and agile,

Answered, “Well, it’s easy.

The water is flowing downstream.

I’m just going with the flow. So that’s the way I go.

I’m on an adventure!”

The first salmon thoughtfully considered these words

While he held position in the current.

The second salmon eyed the first salmon suspiciously

And asked, “Why are you going upstream?

It makes no sense. You’re going against the flow.

You’ll die of exhaustion!”

The first salmon gulped and responded sincerely.

“I don’t know,” he said, “ but I have to go.

It’s a feeling, an urge that I can’t deny.

I’m heading for a quiet, shallow place

Somewhere upriver,

But I don’t know where exactly.

I guess I’m on an adventure, too.”

The two fish circled each other several times;

One torn by the current;

The other torn by instinct.

Finally, they waved goodbye with their pectoral fins

And continued on their separate journeys.

After a while, the first salmon

Was surprised to encounter other salmon

Who were heading upstream, too.

They seemed to be attempting the impossible.

They fought the rapids,

Hurtled up and over cascades

And even over waterfalls

And around huge boulders

That were blocking their way.

They were cut and bruised and silly looking,

But they shared their enthusiasm

And gained much strength as they swam fin to fin.

The downstream salmon saw many wondrous things

That he would never forget,

But still he followed the river.

Soon he was joined by many other comrades

Who were also being carried by the river.

They were headed for the salty water

And a chance to swim in the deep ocean

Where they would grow to be big and strong

And have many experiences.

When the older salmon finally made it

To the gravelly shallows upstream,

They were absolutely spent and near death.

Only the truly brave and strong had made it.

In the glow of their victory,

They stayed together and released their eggs and seed.

Soon the corpses of dead fish lay everywhere

And many other hungry animals

Like bear, coyote and eagle came to feast

As the weather turned colder.

Moral: What goes up, goes up

so that others may come down.

1 comment:

  1. such talented work shall be read by more poets.
    Glad to discover you here.

    Please feel free to share 1 to 3 poems with our potluck poetry today, first time participants could use old poems or poems unrelated to our theme, Thanks..
    Happy Monday!