Poem – Gregory O’Brien

On hearing, at the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco, the outcome of the New Zealand elections, November 2008


‘The silvery Lookdowns (Selene vomer) disappear in the dazzling surface reflection as they slide through the water like blades … .’
Guide to the Oceanographic Museum
There were fishes somehow
set apart
the silver surface of them
but not necessarily as we would have
this world shine.
We had retired to the royal aquarium
for some understanding
of recent developments, there to behold
the most long-faced 
of fishes, the remote coinage of 
their scales.
There were species we might have preferred:
one fish a decorated shoe, another
a stopwatch; one school
of thought was
a chandelier, the next
a regatta.
But it seemed, instead, we had chosen the silver
fish in its most splendid isolation –
a banker in his private
vault – to whom might pass
the governance of underwater cities, this side
of the unfathomable weed.


Gregory O’Brien

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