Fishing For Soul

Poem By Werner Schmidt

Two fishermen with burning bush mops of hair
row in a faded blue, white and red fishing boat
on the ocean in the other world.
One could say that their boat is afloat on that
blue we call heaven or sky
where milk and honey are deadly
and wine flows like water.

Their job? To fish for the souls
of all who die below their boat -
on this earth, in its waters and holes
in its skies, and any astronauts elsewhere.

Once you start getting permanent
aches, pains, niggles and such
like second-hand knees after one
measly marathon, you are reminded
that the soul fishers are hooked on you
baby.

They tug, pull and play patiently
on a growing collection of hooks
for years and years, and not without tears
to get a soul from this world to theirs.
Remember, the distance between here and there
is immeasurable, almost like rod's length.

Anyway.

When each caught soul breaches the
otherworldly surface for the first time
the fishermen give it one look
as it flips and flops -
gasping for creativity.

At this point the fishers often say
their voices rising:
"Freakin' hell!
How many times do we have to tell you
to become yourself and live?
This time you tried on a dead prophet.
Last time it was corporate profits.
Sheesh! "

"Throw him back.
No, no, gently, gently
and leave the scar -
don't want him to forget again."

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