David Haskins is published in over 30 literary journals, anthologies,
and books, and has collected his earlier poems in the book Reclamation
(Borealis, 1980). He has won first prizes from the CBC Literary Competition,
the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara), and the Ontario Poetry
Society. He lives in Grimsby, Ontario, with his wife and his 1970
© 2008 David Haskins
The World Is Always Being Born
A goldfish discovers her world for the first time
with every turn around the bowl,
her brain is so small.
When bill bissett mentioned salmon farming,
no not salmon farming - salmon, farming,
I thought I saw her start.
But then she swam past
and that notion was gone.
And when Shane Rhodes told of a Mexican father
naming his son Usmail (as in Call me Oosmail)
from a cancellation mark on a stamped letter,
the goldfish opened her mouth,
but at once her laugh was swamped
and she swam past again.
And when bill chanted and rattled his rattle,
the fish bobbed in fish time
as though he was speaking her language.
But then she felt the impulse to move on.
Every pass is new,
every moment without context,
the same old never the same old.
She must be in an ecstasy of wonder,
her eyes wide open,
her tiny brain always on.
Every poem is a new day,
its discovery among the details
a moment of astonishing clarity.
Surprise is the daily bread
of poets and goldfish.