August 31, 2009

Poem: Fishing Stockton Lake

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — crcb @ 7:50 pm
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Fishing Stockton Lake

Up close, the curved wall of the dam
looks like a spill of rocks. I consider
crawling over them to a better point,
but it’s just me and my daughter here
and if I twist an ankle, she can’t carry me.
I do teeter across them later, when her cast
goes wide and tangles in the lone bush.
I search for flat surfaces, test each step
before I trust it with my weight.
Just as I start to unweave the nylon
through the weedy branches and pink clusters,
she says, “Dad, a ferret!”
After several seconds, I see it:
not a ferret, but an otter, twisting
easily through the jumbled stones.
It passes almost within reach
on some mission that doesn’t involve us,
and vanishes. I free the line.
My daughter baits the hook and makes
a perfect cast, but the fish ignore us,
and the bird wheeling overhead
on our same quest doesn’t find us
worth warning off. When a family of five
crashes down the trail to let their toddler
splash among lost lines and rusty hooks,
we pack our tackle and disappear.
–Carl Bettis


August 23, 2009

After SETI

Filed under: Litlets,Poetry,Prose,Writing — crcb @ 8:32 pm
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After SETI

We communicated with the extra-terrestrials in writing at first. When we failed to understand them, they wrote bigger.

A million years ago, they were pets to another species. Hence their habit of curling up at our ambassadors’ feet in the middle of negotiations.

The winds have died out altogether on their world, and they pollinate wildflowers by hand. It’s their favorite form of sex. Such unnatural acts disgust us, we explained. Now that the bees and butterflies are gone, we’ve bred thumb-sized dogs that live on nectar.

Many churches disbanded when we discovered the aliens were Christians. Jesus had betrayed us with another planet!

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