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From the cavern of Kauhuhu | by Shitao 石 濤
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From the cavern of Kauhuhu

 

Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market

 

Among the market greens,

a bullet

from the ocean

depths,

a swimming

projectile,

I saw you,

dead.

 

All around you

were lettuces,

sea foam

of the earth,

carrots,

grapes,

but

of the ocean

truth,

of the unknown,

of the

unfathomable

shadow, the

depths

of the sea,

the abyss,

only you had survived,

a pitch-black, varnished

witness

to deepest night.

 

Only you, well-aimed

dark bullet

from the abyss,

mangled

at one tip,

but constantly

reborn,

at anchor in the current,

winged fins

windmilling

in the swift

flight

of

the

marine

shadow,

a mourning arrow,

dart of the sea,

olive, oily fish.

I saw you dead,

a deceased king

of my own ocean,

green

assault, silver

submarine fir,

seed

of seaquakes,

now

only dead remains,

yet

in all the market

yours

was the only

purposeful form

amid

the bewildering rout

of nature;

amid the fragile greens

you were

a solitary ship,

armed

among the vegetables

fin and prow black and oiled,

as if you were still

the vessel of the wind,

the one and only

pure

ocean

machine:

unflawed, navigating

the waters of death.

 

Pablo Neruda

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Taken on March 22, 2009