Li River Fishers

 

Limestone cliffs
surround the river,
hazy shapes,
like worn teeth
of an old dragon.
Below them
narrow bamboo rafts,
ends upturned,
lantern tipped
to attract fish;
poled silently
by fishermen
in palm frond capes
and conical
straw hats.
Each raft
with basket
and trained crew:
cormorants,
pushed
into dark water
to fish,
vanish
and reappear
with fish-filled,
thong-cinched gullets.
Now poles
retrieve birds,
their catch
disgorged
into fishermen’s baskets.

While sun rises
motors clatter away peace
as new fishers
come with nets
and shorten
the time
remaining
for
the ancient river
to provide
food
for
any
fishers.

 

© 2009  Michael Yanega
26  January 2009

 

 

 

 


 

 

 



 

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