July 4th Parade Day—a tapestry placed in the privet to commemorate the year a longhorn steer broke loose and almost caught its horns in my snow crab apple tree. People pass by every day and no one sees this rose.
Near first frost—I found beetles hiding in the pocket— they were slippered in, side-by-side like herring fish.
THAT SAILED THAT BEAUTIFUL SEA.
Or was it?
The wooden shoe that sailed the skies/ Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
When an act of misremembering presents a potentially new idea, seined by nets of mind I did not choose and don’t acknowledge, I will accept it as a mercy, a merci.
I remember the tall, blue book and its pages awash with depths of blue revealed in light of a lullaby’s moon and twinkling stars. At the end, a wooden dingy resting in like a cradle, filled with glimmering herring that seemed to sleep aligned inside the boat’s contours in shifted rows as things alike in shape and size will make. They were the silver words of singing, gathered, settled gleanings, before silence.
This is my memory; it could be confirmed, as Mom still surely has this book. And one day I will look, but why feel rushed to unmake such a gift, if it should be of memory’s making? I am at an age where replenishment is at least as interesting as origination. Or perhaps like in a spiral, every gesture voices the first center any way.
Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe—
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea—
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish—
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ‘t was a dream they ‘d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea—
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
by Eugene Fields