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Sabu Francis

To a fisherman's daughter, on her birthday

It is early morning now
and I need to kiss you goodbye
I can see that you are sleeping so gently
as the ocean roars outside

I need to get into my boat before the dawn breaks
there is so much to tell you
your little palm holding me tells me to stay
as you turn into your second decade

I do smell of the fish I fish;
the thoughts that I have may not be enough
but all thoughts that are sincere
may still help you still your fear

I hope you will not listen to those
who point at the smell of fish from me
and see beyond into my thoughts I pose
and even beyond, to your inner self that you see

I wish that I can tell you all about you
but I am only a fisherman, not God
just as I cannot fathom the ocean blue
neither can I explain your thoughts

so I will tell you how I fish
and I hope you will learn your lessons yourself
because I believe each one is God for oneself
and only that God can tell the right from the wrong

--

I fish in my own boat
and each of my fellow fishermen too
we all fish alone; but in some sorts,
we fish together in this ocean blue

I push my boat into the waves
and that is the only way it can be
I can't wait for some magic hand
or I'll wait at the shore till eternity

the waves are there in the ocean blue
they have always been there; I have seen
I cannot tell the ocean to quieten
but I cannot also let them play with me

my little boat therefore cuts the waves
for only then I can go ahead
I need to cast my fishing net
and bide my time to pull in my lead

my little boat rocks with the waves;
all those happen naturally
even if some of those shakes
come from my fellow fishermen ally

for when we fisherfolk fish together
sometimes we are so lost in thought
that the wakes of our boats cross one another
and add to the waves, our own distraughts

if it is my boat's wake that caused the shake
in the other boat; I look into the other's eyes
and if I see anguish there
I reassure the other with a smile

for we are not here to place blames
for all the shakes that we create
it is the ocean that carries us
we can never carry the ocean

sometimes in life, a large wave
makes us gasp, gives us pain
but then that wave always passes
so dont place all further shakes to that wave

sometimes we glance at the other boat
and think we don't have enough
but all I need is my own boat afloat
what others have or not is naught

often as I sit alone in my boat
I think of taking on someone in
but with the rocking thats inevitable
it may be better to be without

I then sit and cast my net
and I then wait patiently
if I get some fish I can get some rest;
if I don't; I need to move quickly

I need to be always on the move
for the ocean is not still
and the fish that are within
are not waiting for my reach

I sit and do my work honestly
I also try to see the boats beside me
and I see if they need my help
and all that without a fee

that is how we all get our soulmate:
two boats that fish together
to bring the fish into our home
and to see your face light up

it does not matter what we fished
and how much fish we got
what is important that we did bring
whatever the net had caught

as I now walk to the ocean roar
I can see that one day you will grow
and you with your own little boat
I know one day you will row

I hope you will remember then
the lessons I tried to tell you now
you need not remember me then
what is needed is not "who" but "how"

I do need to go, you know
I still have so much to tell you my dearest
so I shall have to kiss you goodbye
before you row, you should have some rest


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