Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fishing for Souls (Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne), Sonnet #345

They came swimming in with the morning tide
After three days of storms unmoored our boats.
Somehow, they guided each hull back toward shore.
Like a school of fish two miles long and wide,
They moved as one, some submerged, some afloat,
Filling the bay with hope, a pleading corps.
We launched the boats and went fishing for souls.
Our bows bobbed clumsily through the dead shoals.
As we leaned to take their outstretched hands --
Beseeching yet so difficult to grip --
We found them quite impossible to ship,
Since each boat was already fully manned.
We saved a few but most soon went under.
A rainbow blessed the sea; then came thunder.