This poem about scales is a mash-up of ideas about old flames and red herrings. Strangely, yesterday I also wrote about sea creatures. In ‘New ink cartridges‘ I paired cephalopods with writing in black ink.
In subject matter, three of my most recent poems have drawn on creatures that live in or around water. See
Conversation, which references ducks.
Tarantella, which might seem to be about spiders, but also mentions a fish.
Thematically, all these poems explores internal and external movement. “red herring”considers the pause of such movement; “Tarantella” the motion. Conversation describes the setting of an event, but hints at the ebb and flow to be found in relating.
The flame is a scale held to the light.
It flickers in petition. It bids us to reignite
some salacity already gutted from our life.
Yes, that last line is akin to a title. I remembered that Debussy does likewise in his Préludes.
At the moment I am swimming with the red herrings. There’s perhaps another poem in that, though I have been imagining a fantastical puppet show. “Swimming with Red Herrings” would involve fire-eaters and tea-lights. There would have to be a pond on stage.
My grocery list of current cravings includes asparagus, scrambled eggs, real sheep and goat’s milk feta and the freshest pita bread from my local Greek-Cypriot grocer (Tony’s, incidentally). For some reason, I can’t get these items off my mind.