Water-centaur

In the Playa Azul video,
there’s a shot-sequence of grey and blue
sea
cloud,
with mountains erupting across a bay
at low tide.
A man, a little left of center, is wading,
pulling a skiff over to a
powerboat
anchored in the foreground.
Mist curlicues are making new clouds
in the lower valleys,
and a plane flies by, right to left,
laying a fine trail of diesel exhaust
in the sky.

The fisherman transfers equipment
from skiff to boat.
A dog, barking nearby, has a hollow voice,
suggesting house or veranda.
As the sky brightens,
curlicues lose their edges,
and mist streams pour
slow, smooth, and evanescent
over the farthest peaks.
The plane returns from the left,
banking very low,
and the fisherman ignores it,
as he works to tether skiff to boat.
He limps around the assemblage to find the anchor,
which he pulls, and tosses
into the boat.
He’s not seventeen anymore;
the skiff is his trolley, and now,
tethered to the boat,
it’s an outrigger,
or so I think as he climbs aboard the boat
and potters about arranging things.

But when he moves abaft and starts the engine,
he joins his craft as surely
as man joins horse to make centaur.
He’s a water-centaur,
as graceful and balanced as any fisherman can be,
and I guess his aging-pains fly away,
when he sails like this.
Man and boat exit right, noiseless
on the glide.

The cool-hued scene
has me wondering. Alaska?
But he’s not wearing waders,
and the jagged mountains
say, “Maybe Hawai’i?”

Absent of fisherman, plane and dog,
the scene’s so quiet it looks like a still,
except
a reflection moves,
a swell begins to roll in,
and a solitary waterfowl flies
low and quick along the shore.
The tide has turned,
and birds sing out:
Hawai’i for sure.

The Playa Azul video confirms,
“Kaneohe Bay Fisherman, 4:30 PM.”
The light is behind the mountains.
The view to the west, then.
You hear a faint-sounding motor before you see
a boat, a hundred meters out
moving north to south, parallel to the swell,
a water-centaur
low in the stern.

Note: Playa Azul Beautiful Beaches is a three hour ambient video featuring beaches, from Jim Wilmer’s The Windows Channel company. This poem is about the video’s ten-minute Kaneohe Bay sequence.

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