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.
11 responses to “Metamorphisis”
I had to google ‘ensorcelled’. Interesting word!
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.
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.
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.
The Arthur legend lives on and on and on, John. Have you ever read John Steinbeck’s translation?
No, I confess I didn’t know of it, although I’ve read Grapes, Eden, Mice and more. I must look for it.
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
Linda, my Mom and I drove up on Twenty-five Mesa while we were in Delta, so at least got to see your country. Thanks for the comment.
OH! DANG! You went right by our HOUSE!!!!!
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.”