A Fish is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Death of the Fish by Erin McManness

Yesterday was National Poetry Day in the UK. In honor of it, Neil Gaiman posted this poem and I love it so much I had to share it. Wonderful imagery – I just want to paint this.


Jupiter and Venus hung like grapes in the evening sky,
frozen and untwinkling,
You could have reached and up and picked them.

And the trout swam.

Snow muffled the world, silenced the dog,
silenced the wind…

The man said, I can show you the trout. He was
glad of the company.
He reached into their tiny pool, rescued a dozen, one by one,
sorting and choosing,
dividing the sheep from the goats of them.

And this was the miracle of the fishes,
that they were beautiful. Even when clubbed and gutted,
insides glittering like jewels. See this? he said, the trout heart
pulsed like a ruby in his hand. The kids love this.
He put it down, and it kept beating.
The kids, they go wild for it.

He said, we feed the guts to the pigs. They’re pets now,
They won’t be killed. See? We saw,
huge as horses they loomed on the side of the hill.

And we walk through the world trailing trout hearts like dreams,
wondering if they imagine rivers, quiet summer days,
fat foolish flies that hover or sit for a moment too long.
We should set them free, our trout and our metaphors:

You don’t have to hit me over the head with it.
This is where you get to spill your guts.
You killed in there, tonight.
He pulled her heart out. Look, you can see it there, still beating. He said,
See this? This is the bit the kids like best. This is what they come to see.

Just her heart, pulsing, on and on. It was so cold that night,
and the stars were all alone.
Just them and the moon in a luminous bruise of sky.

And this was the miracle of the fishes.

And on another note. Happy Friday. And on another ‘nother note. PBS FTW!

Sacrificial Television & Miracle Fish.

Today was another day spent outside playing basketball, though we did take a few minutes to charge down into the basement and start making lists of the things that we are taking with us to Austin (the rest will go into storage).

Unfortunately, there is one thing that won’t be going with us. Our TV. Which is now dead.

See, last night we had a scare. At around 12:30am we put the cats up for the night (they sleep in the laundry room so they don’t tear the house apart), and around 2:30am we finally came to bed. I was under the blankets already when I hear Ash say, “Oh my god.” At first, I had no idea what was wrong. She was standing by the TV with her head down, staring at something behind it. When she moved back, I finally realized what was so terrible.

At this point in the story, this has nothing to do with the TV. We’ll get to that. This is more important.

Oh the bookshelf behind the TV is where Galileo and Aristotle, our two bettas, live and swim (in separate tanks, of course). As soon as Ash had backed away, I saw that there was only one tank. Aristotle was swimming happily in his, but where Galileo’s tank was supposed to be was nothing but empty space. Ash reached down and picked up Galileo’s empty and broken tank and then very slowly picked up the fish that had now been in the carpet for at least two hours. Both of us thought he would be nothing but dry and dead, but when she picked him up, she found him still wet! And alive!

Quickly, because she’s amazing in the face of emergencies, Ash put him into a small bowl with fresh water and healing drops and he swam around in no time. We transferred him to a glass jar and put him back up on the shelf with his brother. From what we’ve deduced, sometime before I put the cats up for the night, one of them had managed to pull down his tank and somehow didn’t eat him when he fell on the carpet. But that fish had been out of water for AT LEAST two hours and he lived to tell the tale. Insane.

We should expect it from our fish though. We have miracle fish. Yep. Don’t believe me? Go read this story about the time one of our cats ATE Aristotle and then spit him back up, and that fish is still doing fine. Seriously. Miracle Fish.

What does this have to do with the TV? Well while our fish managed to float by unharmed, the TV wasn’t so lucky. About twenty minutes ago we tried to turn the TV on for the first time since yesterday and discovered it dead. DEAD. Won’t even flicker. When the cat pulled over the fish tank, some of the water must have hit the TV and was enough to kill it. Ash is currently attempting to dry it out with a hair dryer and rescue the poor thing, and I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be okay though it certainly isn’t looking good.

While I’m happy Galileo made it safely, I really wish this hadn’t of happened. Why is that things like this take place right before big events that need money? We can’t afford a new TV. This just sucks. Seriously. Why do things like this happen? I’m thankful we have our fish, but why did the TV have to get sacrificed? Not fair.

Guess we’ll just have to go back to living in the Stone Age. And watch movies on our laptops like cavemen.

Holy Busy Day, Batman.

It’s been an unusually hectic, and somewhat exciting, day. And maybe not exciting in the good sense.

It started off fast. We slept in, and when we woke up we got a little surprise. Ash got dressed before me and went into the living room. I was still rolling around trying to wake up when I heard her say, “Come help me find the ferrets!” I was awake in a shot and ran into the living room to find kleenex, paper towel, plackers, and absolute destruction strewn around the room like a hurricane had blown through (or, in this case, two tiny tropical storms).

It didn’t take long to find the culprits. Drake had returned to his bed inside their cage, and a quick searched turned up Nate, curled up inside the sleeve of Ash’s winter jacket which they had pulled to the floor. He was utterly adorable, and I quote Ash in saying, “You’re lucky you guys are cute.” I cleaned up their mess and then, because I was on a role, I cleaned the entire bathroom including mopping the floor and cleaning the toilet. Wow, the boys actually gave me motivation to do something. Gotta love the ferrets.

Ferret Boys

It wasn’t the end of the excitement though. About an hour later, I walked into the bedroom to discover that Akima had managed to get into the bookshelf and scoop out one of our bettas from his tank. I screamed several forms of curses at the cat while Ash rushed in and, with her clear-headedness and calm demeanor in the face of my panic, picked up Aristotle and plopped him back into his tank. I thought for sure he was a goner, but Ash cleaned out his tank and we put him in a little healing bath for a few minutes. We still aren’t sure he’s going to make it through the night, but he’s in a very clean tank now and he’s swimming to the top to breathe on his own now (earlier, we had to use a spoon to guide him to the top since he was too weak to do it himself). His health still keeps going back and forth though, so we’ve had him with us in the living room to monitor him all day. I’m hoping he’ll pull through.

I’ve also been doing laundry, working on WordPress themes (including setting up a blog for Ash and making a design for her), and we’ve watched tons of House M.D. So amongst all the excitement and anxiety of the day, it’s also been productive but relaxing. How? I have no idea, but it’s been that sort of day.

How’s your day been?