by Thomas Davis

I lay beside an ancient, quiet pool
and put my idle hand into the water.
A rainbow trout swam nibbling past.
Without a thought I held its thrashing fast.
The trout became a whiskery, wily otter.

I squeezed as if I’d turned into a ghoul
whose only thought was how to hold
an otter in my thrall forevermore.
The otter twisted like a fiend,
and when that failed, it bared sharp teeth and screamed.

My spirit quailed and heart turned icy cold.
Between two breaths the eagle was a child.
He looked at me and slowly, sadly smiled.

I dropped her when her human voice began to sing.
I looked into the shine of golden eyes;
the child became a woman beautiful and wise.

The woman turned and swiftly swam away.
I jumped into the pool, but she was gone —
And now I’ve spent these many years
bedazzled by an otter with a woman’s face,
Ensorcelled by a quiet water place.


Filed under poems, Thomas Davis

11 responses to “Metamorphisis

  1. I had to google ‘ensorcelled’. Interesting word!

  2. So lovely and dreamlike, Thomas, and so appropriate to the season. I was a bit confused by the eagle in line 12, and the child becoming a she from a he, but metamorphosis is metamorphosis, I said to myself, and on Hallowe’en anything is possible. The sorcery of your words has me ensorcelled!

    • Ah Cynthia, a poet who has visited the quiet pool and come away sane. Remember in White’s “The Once and Future King” how the young Arthur had to deal with a wizard who could change being so quickly he could not be caught? Visiting the quiet pool always has its dangers.

  3. Now that you cite “The Once and Future King” I find more and more levels to this. But you are the wizard, Thomas…as the consummate poet that you are. I find it hard to believe you will ever be caught.

  4. A glorious contribution to Hallowe’en, Thomas! As Cynthia Jobin says, it has a dream-like quality about it. I’m not surprised to learn that The Once And Future King was a formative influence on the young story-teller and poet.

  5. Thank you for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment. I love your poetry. At first I thought maybe you were talking about Surface Creek and a eddy pool with a trout in it. But I read further. The still pool can take us


  6. Another good piece of story telling. Do you know of A A Attanasio
    Arthor series? Another take of the Arthurian cycle.

    “The Perilous Order of Camelot

    Across this four book series, young King Arthur grows up with the help of Merlin in a world of supernatural powers set against him.”

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