Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Poetry Festival Pop-Up Sardine Shrine

image by Leslie Moore

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, for the Belfast Poetry Festival, I set up a small Sardine Shrine pop-up pilgrimage site, to honor the many many fish who came through the Belfast sardine factory, and the many women and men who worked those fish. The image above, and the poems below, arrived at the site which faced the location where the sardine plant used to be.

sardine plant, Belfast

May we be blessed by
the Spirits of these fish
swimming through our world
from the world above
from the world below
rising from the depths of our future
blessing the depths of our past.

Gary Lawless


Gone, gone again is Summer the lovely.
She that knew not where to hide,
is gone again like a jeweled
fish from the hand,
is lost on every side.
Mute, mute I make my way to the garden,
Thither where she last was seen;
The heavy foot of the frost
is on the flags there,
where her light step has been.
Gone, gone again is Summer the lovely,
Gone again on every side;
Lost again like a shining fish
from the hand into the shadowy tide.

Thank you for your labor and
thank you or your presence,
for your hard work, and the desire
to take care of your families
to do what most
would not,
to feed us,
nourish us,
to survive and raise families
and live in this oh so
hard and beautiful place.

Lullaby of the Little Tin Cradle
(triolet in honor of Maine's sardine families)

couffin couffin little tin can
to keep the herring swimming in dreams
its lid curled back for a candle pan
couffin couffin little tin can
flat candle cradle for mama's stand
flicker and float on Time's old stream
couffin couffin little tin can
oh keep the herring swimming in dreams

Patricia Smith Ranzoni

Like the old poets say...
fires to the West.
so they've discovered more moons around Jupiter?
fools continue to dominate yesterday's news.
a day will come when the fat blimp deflates
little green worms drop
from garden-cut flowers on the kitchen table.
early birds stir before dawn.
if you go deep enough & if you have time
under trees
owls will find your ears.

Eero Ruuttila