G. Louis Heath, two poems

July 1, 2017

THOUGHTS WHILE FILLETING A FISH

 

As the lake gulps down the sun,

I enter the shadow of my cabin,

carrying my fly rod and creel.

Clematis and rhododendron lay

down their scent in a carpet

that thrills my senses. Warblers

trill from shadows in the shrubs.

 

The trout on the counter dully eyes

me as I ply my fillet knife through its

pink flesh. My hopes are nourished by

this fish who gave its life for my dinner.

Yet a thought perturbs me. Is this fish’s

death an event unending?

 

I too grew  from a  kindergarten of eggs in

communion with this sleek, slick miracle of

the water. Is our end the only happening that

does not end? Or can I believe that this fillet

is a beginning?

 

 

 

MEN THREE INCHES TALL

 

colored the screen in the lounge at my residence

hall as I sat after dinner watching the news. They

stood tall in Vietnam, but in Berkeley, measured a

mere quarter-foot, a piddling three inches.

 

There were three-inch Vietcong and three-inch

Americans. My reality of that war is three inches

tall. There was a kind of three-inch equality of the

parties to the conflict on TV, though  America

wielded the most lethality. (My Soche class

was studying  inequality at the time. So,

equality of any sort seemed a great idea.)

 

TV equalized the heights of the soldiers. It  

sanitized the conflict, not showing blood or

death full-on. The screen treated the pain of

America with a narcotic of fast-acting and

dispassionate psychedelic electrons.

 

I’m sorry I cannot understand the pain of our Viet

vets, some my high school peers. When I encounter

one, I cannot connect him to the three-inch men

I used to watch at Berkeley after dinner. And that,

for me, is the saddest aftermath of that damn tiny war.  

 

 

 

 

G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, recently retired from teaching at Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. . He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He often hikes along the Mississippi River, stopping to work on a poem he pulls from his back pocket, weather permitting. His books include Mutiny Does Not Happen Lightly, Long Dark River Casino and Vandals In The Bomb Factory. His most recent poems have been published in Poppy Road Review, Writing Raw, Inkstain Press, Verse-Virtual, and Squawk Back. He can be contacted at gheathorov@gmail.com

 

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