Saturday, March 07, 2009

Fishbones Dreaming


Fishbones lay in the smelly bin.
He was a head, a backbone and a tail.
Soon the cats would be in for him.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was fat, and hot on a plate.
Beside green beans, with lemon juice
squeezed on him. And a man with a knife
and fork raised, about to eat him.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was frozen in the freezer.
With lamb cutlets and minced beef and prawns.
Three month he was in there.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was squirming in a net,
with thousands of other fish, on the deck
of a boat. And the rain falling
Wasn’t wet enough to breathe in.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was darting through the sea,
past crabs and jellyfish, and others
likes himself. Or surfacing to jump for flies
And feel the sun on his face.

He liked to be this way.
He dreamed hard to try and stay there.

By Matthew Sweeney


Afterthought

This is really a depressing poem. When I am dying on my deathbed, would I be also dreaming about my past?

9 comments:

LadyGarfield said...

this was so good! i reached your blog through Benjamin Chew's post/blog on WeekendWordsmith. truly enjoyed reading this piece. good work!

Alson Teo said...

Hi Lady Garfield,

Glad to have you here. :)

Indeed this is an excellent poem, but I am not its creator. Frankly I have a love-hate relationship with this poem, as it reminds me so much of my present situation. :(

Gilbert Koh said...

Alson!

My book will be published in June (most likely the 19th). There will be a launch at the National Library. I would love for you to come.

If you're able to make it, do drop me an email at kohgilbert@gmail and I'll make sure that the publisher sends you an invitation.

(And if you have any friends who would be interested, let me know too!)

Regards,
Gilbert

Joy said...

I just found your blog... very interesting! I'll definitely put you on my "following" list.

Loved your poetry!

Alson Teo said...

Hi Gilbert,

This is great news! You have no idea how long I have been looking forward to your book launch!

Of course I will be there! :)

Alson Teo said...

Thanks Joy!

Unfortunately most of the poems posted here are not written by me. I posted them in my blog because in my opinion, they are the best among the best. :)

Xandrani said...

I have just heard this poem read on the radio. It is very moving and makes me wonder if I should give up eating fish!

Anyway thanks for posting the poem. This excellent poem was also read out on the same programme:
http://www.cdra.org.za/creativity/Ben%20Okri%20-%20To%20an%20english%20friend%20in%20Africa.htm

Alson Teo said...

Hi Xandarani, thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

A.T., “Fishbones Dreaming” great metaphoric complex.
This is one of the first poems I read—years ago in a publication—that made me realize full on, that there are other than the stale sonnets and faked 3rd grade haiku out there that are being pushed by tired, uninspired, market merchant teachers. The original illustration that accompanied this piece was a spectacular wood cut.
Thank you for the inclusion. I wish works like Mathew’s were included in the publications I publish in, my own works would, then, look so good.
p.l. wick