|Poetry: March 15, 2023 Issue [#11863]|
This week: Talking Story Edited by: fyn
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|New things and perspectives. Discovering how to write a newsletter on a Kindle when the laptop is being persnickety. Adapting to things outside a comfort zone. Kinda like life, I suppose.|
|I was in Lahaina, wandering down Front Street, when I happened upon a man fishing. He was tiny,with deeply brown skin, and as wrinkled as a raisin. I watched as he caught a small fish, took it off the hook and put it in his bucket next to his side. He continued fishing. After short while he caught another fish a little bit bigger than the previous one. He removed the hook from the fish's mouth, put it in the bucket, took the first fish out and tossed it back in the ocean. For perhaps forty-five minutes I watched him do this, always keeping the bigger of the two fish.|
He motioned to me to come over to him and sit by him on the stairs."Mebbe you wonder why I do what'm do?" I nodded. "Tell me," he says. "You be married many years, lady? To de same man? One time?"
I told them that I've been married a few times before but now I've gotten it finally right.
He pointed to the ocean. "There be many fish in the sea. Some big fish, some little fish. Not every fish is right fish for you. You gots to look to find the right fish. You get the right fish you keep him. The rest you got to throw back.
" Then he laughed a great big belly laugh, his toothless mouth wide open.
He told me how he was 104 and remembered a great many 'tings' about the beforetimes. How Hawaii had kings and queens, before America came in and took over. "Every true child of Hawaii is still taught their lineage. Mine goes back sixty-three generations and I know every name. Why we learn dis is because no one can become who dey mean to be without knowing where they come from,
knowing who they are."
I know who my great grandparents were, but listening to him, he 'knows' (present tense) his.And all the generations going back.
For well over an hour we talked -- mostly he talked and I listened. Tales of being tossed out of his sugar cane job when the workers were replaced by the Chinese or the Japanese. How, initially, the differing groups had nothing to do with each other and how, over time, they grew to understand each other. "People be people and by 'm by, people are really no different from one another. You just need to find how you all be alike. Hard sometimes, but by 'm by, you do."
"When the Japs bombed us, the Japanese folk here were mighty, pretty scared too. Didn't matter they were raised to believe the Emperor was always right, they was scared. We allas was. Mo better nowdays. Even if we lost our royal fambly."
Paying attention to both the how and what he said-- to the cadences of his voice was like listening to liquid poetry. His inflections and punctuational pauses were like music...lyrical.
My husband came meandering up the street and smiled when he saw me. "That light, just den dere when he saw you? That be the light of the big fish. You keep this man. He make you happy. He's the big enough fish to keep."
Just then, as he had quite a few times while we'd been talking, he got a fish. A big fish. He smiled, wide and gummy. "Now we both gots our big fish."
"What was that all about?" asked my hubby as we strolled away.
"Life, Hawaii, big fish and maybe my next newsletter. Just so you know, you're my big fish, and I'm keeping you!"
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|Monty says:John Winchester fresh dismay, The terrible rumble and grumble of war. Talk about roots, I hope to leaveGreenleaf Whittier: Up from the south at break of day bringing to roots.|
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