The Fishmen of Medford and San Nico
medford was a marsh that gave its fish awesome views of the setting sun medfords marsh opened into a fresh and cool bay that if fish entered from underwater could see purple smeared orange skies so fishermen thought to drain medfords marsh and setup a clean harbor under the nice sun he always hated moonlit sandbars and cold nights something the rest loved or so he had thought until one day at the bar a wood one they sat and talked about work you know i hate fish he said and the men agreed if i have to eat one more rotten fish said his neighbor i swear i will gut the biggest duck ducks are what the fishermen had called all their families for they needed but lived out of water medford fishermen were always bitter the marshes sucked the medford men in but gave them nothing the view loving fish had taken their leave the fishermen were left to sit alone in their wood bar amid the forests surrounding medford that someday would house a hospital that their kids would work in or a university to teach ator a big bank so the medford fisherman thought and rowed out into the san nico county bay everynightand worked and netted and harpooned for fish that had left for spawning grounds and safer bays leaving them to think about the future of their children who they hoped wouldnt become fishermen fishing for fish all night in a marshside bay for nothing their children wouldnt become fishermen or doctors or teachers or bankers they would be drinkers
The Ten Thousand Year Old Man
blossomed out of a single-
striped vase on a desk,
sunlight hit watches
hung in a window and bounced
onto a lone chair.
Across the street, where
years ago Olaf had cooked,
the watchmaker ate.
He looked at the clock
on the wall and went to tend
to his livelihood.
He paid, walked across
the street then once inside, sat
in his chair and worked.
He unhooked a watch
from above his desk and set
it a minute fast.
The sign supported
by two poles stared back at the
In a small town tucked
away in a crescent of
mountains and marshes,
watchmaker had managed to
take a town through time.
The town remained on its own time for years;
in one of them,
a young man hit the mountain and the trees.
A hub in his brain where synapses met –
and a part of him remained on the slopes.
The rest lay in a wooded hospital
doctors, nurses, loved ones, and a fish bowl.
Eventually, computers replaced
and its clock was set a minute too fast.
The man’s clock was also scheduled to last
ten thousand years.
Outside, meanwhile, massive malls took the woods.
By the time he needed his clock reset,
the malls shut down,
and the hands of those who could have helped, changed.
In the meantime, he had predicted things,
seen people go,
and wondered when he would finally leave.
Then the ten thousandth year came and he sat
watching the clouds
wash over the mountains for a minute.
© Copyright 2016 Liam Cooper. All rights reserved.