Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Poem by Tom Hatch

Coyote and the Catfish

Near the edge of the pond walking
On tip toes, on the sand begins to run

Leaving tiny lean toed paw prints
Stopping suddenly as his head bends

Stare into the water still as his body turns
Tail end making a radius puts his omnivorous muzzle to a halt

Pointing precisely motionless silent
Between the reeds his look

Does not waver
Tail posing as ballast for delicate balance

Little steps bit by bit paws move one at a time
Lifting just the right height placing the next foot

Forward that equals the height as if drawing
A circle precisely in a square

His head lowers decreasingly below
His thin sharp plow like shoulder blades

Not making a sound in a deadly tacit silents
His perceptive eyes do not blink

Keeping the pace all so long-drawn-out
Then he hits the water with a paw appearing almost like a cat

Pulling back knocking a fish out of the waters edge
As it lands it breaks the reeds flat sets flies buzzing in flight

Fish's tail flipping up sending white sand on a shiny black body
The performer grabs clutching the flopping fish between his eager teeth

Black thick catfish whiskers
Feeling the canines hot breath from thinner whiskers

He turns around basking through a curtain of
Long low hanging young golden willow boughs

Then he bows and without a doubt will not make a curtain call
The dog and feline fish and day have exited the stage

Tom Hatch paid his dues in the SoHo art scene in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He was awarded two NEA grants for sculpture back then. And taught at various colleges and universities in the NYC metro area in art. He is a regular at The Camel Saloon and BoySlut. He had recently published The Mind[less] Muse. He lives in CT with a few farms up and down the road works in Manhattan. His train ride to and from NYC is his solace, study and den where it all begins and ends.

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