Friday, February 06, 2009

The Great Gray Monster

The great gray monster lies like a heavy ooze.
Its vastness stretches from horizon to horizon, homogeneous and massive and infinite.
Beneath its depths, millions upon millions of fishes swim.
They toil below the viscous leaden weight.
Their radiant scales are dulled by the ooze.
Silvery, crimson, azure, and golden, they all dull to gray.

Invariably, a single fish, alone among the multitude, will break the surface of this monster,
Jumping clear of the glutinous slime.
But Gravity asserts her selfish desires,
Or a strange wind blows its surprising gusts,
And the fish loses itself and falls back into the sea,
Flopping awkwardly onto its side,
Dulled and defeated once more.

Another may increase its speed,
Tip its head toward the sun,
Its fins thrashing, its powerful white flesh pushing against the colloidal ooze.
It jumps and breaks the surface and soars, soars!
The sun catches its eye, and its scales glisten like diamonds and emeralds.
But from the ooze, an appendage forms,
A long and thin gray arm reaches up,
And knocks the fish back into the depths.
The fish sinks down, down, down,
Exhausted for its efforts, to lie deep
Alongside the eternal City in the Sea.

One day, one singular fish inhales deeply the salty brine into his gills.
He sinks deep down below the depths.
He girds himself and screws up his courage,
And begins to thrust.
Mechanically, from side to side, pushing stronger against this Newtonian force,
He pushes and pushes, rising, rising, rising,
Until he breaks!
And throwing his fins wide,
Stretching them tight,
He soars and rises and lifts,
Out of reach of the great gray monster,
And he is free.

© Copyright 2005-2014, Scott E. Harris. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce or copy without the permission of the author.