FALL 2013 (Issue 80)

Charles Wyatt


In the Indian Sea, the fish called the baloena, or whirlpool, is so long and broad as to take up more in length and breadth than two acres of ground; in the river Ganges, there be eels of thirty feet long; the people of Cadara make the timber for their houses of those fish-bones; there are sometimes a thousand of these great eels found wrapt or interwoven together. . .Isaak Walton

And in mind, a number may nest, never to forget itself,
made like music there to waltz, and mountains,
behind clouds, become small as mice, their winds squeak.

And in some country, the poem left-handed proclaims
but in another must be right – what country?
The one from which the moon may be seen – not where it falls

and sticks in the winter mud, singing bass below bass,
while the wind, still full of mice, cries farewell, cries welcome,
cries so be it, cries poor moon, cries that which may not be told:

Whirlpool, great eels, basket of bones, young bones and old;
down, whirlpool, or up – up sun, down moon, my left hand
is my right; thumbs, those twins, have come home, welcome

hands, number in the mind is two, now become three,
now growing; they write it down, but it falls into the sky,
mind in the sky, behind cloud, behind wine, behind bread,

and will not cry the call, not that mighty word, not ever.