Learn More

Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0017 The Philosophical Goldfish


Doctors’ waiting rooms.
Dentists’ waiting rooms.
Goldfish etc.

What have goldfish done,
what fishy business have they been up to
in the murky underworld of the unpoliced,
to be incarcerated in public view
of the apprehensive, the fearful,
the distressed out of mind, those bearing
all the myriad aches and pains
that flesh is heir to?

Looking up from the Horse and Hound Gazette
which I noticed I was holding upside down
my eye was caught – or did he, or she, catch mine first? -
as if it heard my thoughts about its welfare

It swam towards me, pressed its mouth against the glass
in perfect O-shape as if singing,
or perhaps sounding some universal Om
(the final consonant difficult to catch for the dry-eared)
and it seemed to wish to communicate.

I sensed it was not a cry for help (and indeed,
what help could have offered, without
a plastic bag and in view of others who still
believed me sane? No, it seemed
peaceful but chatty; even helpfully inclined.

I got up, walked discreetly as if calmly passing time
and – almost tempted to kiss the glass, but instead
simply mouthing a friendly mwaa –
and though my lip-reading isn’t all it could be,
I believe I identified this message:

‘As above, so below;
as without, so within’

Sometimes one’s view of Creation
seems to have been hitherto
singularly unimaginative

Submitted: Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Edited: Friday, December 08, 2006

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (0017 The Philosophical Goldfish by Michael Shepherd )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie kskdnj sajn (6/11/2006 11:40:00 AM)

    Enjoyed this write Michael. My fish (though should have died over a year ago) , and I have a unique connection, both loving routine..'Segua' will say hello, then swim to the corner to wait until I dropp little bits of shredded gifts. Not all fish are brainless. :) This poem unique. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Scarlett Treat (6/7/2006 1:57:00 PM)

    OK, I will admit it! We as humans think we are the King of the Castle! How very little we know! ! ! Marvelously philosophical, Mikey, but I expect non-the-less from you. Scarlett (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Cognac, Larisa Rzhepishevska
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  6. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Poem of the Day

poet Li Po

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

poet Marvin Brato Sr

New Poems

  1. Truth and conscience, gajanan mishra
  2. Win the self, gajanan mishra
  3. (6) जिख्लाबसे लाइजाम: 'रैसुमै'नो, Ronjoy Brahma
  4. I Exist, Rohit Sapra
  5. The law of these times, Ravikumar C.P.
  6. So Many Minds Are Left Fractured, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  7. Mystic Blake, Joseph Narusiewicz
  8. Today's World, Leong Ming Loong
  9. Thoughts in the Moonlight, Luo Zhihai
  10. Tales Of A Wife: Honeymoon, Onyekachukwu Vincent Onyeche
[Hata Bildir]