Pete Spence

Gone Fishing.
toss me the Albatross
it seems lonely searching
for fish in the lounge room
i'm reading Game Fish of
the East Coast of Australia

game for what! hockey table
tennis chess? a photo on page
64 of a school of small fish
amuses the Albatross
it just looks like a cloud
in the water to me
when a dolphin turns up
in the photo the Albatross
bursts into a panic
i quickly turn the page
to a serene backwater
with a small crab scurrying
across the sand holding
a placard that clearly reads
"turn page before i'm eaten"
a photo of a Plankton
counter's hide is puzzling
until we read on and find
this particular Plankton
counter is a bird-watcher
in their spare time! but
what about Dugong Stone
Fish Beche-de-Mer what
of Jellyfish tirade and
what of Krill darkening
the watery horizon?
what of stunned Mullet!
the next pages are about
sharks those teeth dear
Albatross are pearly white!
the photo on page 88
is of 11 Albatross standing
precariously on a rock
watching a Blue Heron
another photo near the end
of the book is of a fisherman
alone in a very small
row-boat far out at sea
waving a broken oar
a constellation of various
sea-birds are circling
the boat! i've been so
engrossed in my reading
i haven't noticed
the Albatross has gone!
i find a note on the kitchen
table scrawled with a beak
dipped in Vegemite
"gone fishing"

Penche Dangereusement.

le torrent et les cascades!
o ablutions! now we are here
the mornings seem more oblique
though of an even temper
the mess mes ami's is put aside

the idea of thinking occurs
to me but i'm thinking in French
as i lean precariously with
a French-English dictionary
in my pocket when to be

in balance would be a mere
nothing as i abscond down
the street under some brittle
sunlight and if a cloud can
be lazy that one is! while

the others have scurried
away to lean on mountains
nothing's tedious in the
abruptness of moments!
as some dust scatters the

wind the cloud remains
unmoved grazing on the
thought that this could be
happening right here right
now! ici et maintenant!

Pete Spence was born in 1946. He is a poet, visual poet, and filmmaker, and has worked in various jobs to cover the ongoing deficit. He is currently retired from work but not from any of the above.
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