Publish the Word
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Yeshua -- 16, Fishers

In the beginning. . .
was the word

 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11

 

xvi Fishers of Men

 

The sky is a sea of endlessly changeable light

     above Galilee, of wind funnels, rain in

cascades, luminesced clouds adrift like musical

 

notes dropping their shadow song on the water

     which, for the hour, was deceptively calm.

Yeshua sat watching Zebedee's sons, and Simon

 

bar-Jonah, mending nets, knotting and re-splicing,

     tying cork bobbers.  The laggers and hangers-

on had left.  To the west dawn was flush on the hills

 

of Gennesaret.  Sun sheened the boats' cedarwood

     hulls; the mortised, jointed rib staves dripped silver

rivulets that spangled the sand.  The night's catch

 

was paltry: a handclasp of sardines, tilapia, a few

     plump barbels to salt or to pickle, a musht

with a long dorsal comb, overhead a mob of beggars

 

cawing, spiraling down for crayfish: gulls, grebes,

     pelicans, egrets wading like small children on stilts.

Yeshua toyed with a tortoise, drummed its etched belly.

 

News from the shoals, he said the turtle confided,

     was a school in session off the lee of the point,

near the surface for skimming.  Simon said, Master,

 

you're joking.  We've labored for hours.  But where

     Yeshua pointed, east by northeast, was where their boat

went.  One cast, one minute to settle, one back-straining

 

haul, half-swamped, then bellows for help to subdue such

     a rabble, roaring, astonished, awash in a week's fish.

Rocking mid-lake, sea-sloshed, gripping the gunwales,

 

Simon saw under the surface.  Go Lord, I'm a sinner.

     Yeshua, amused, maybe serene as the eye of a gale, saw

deeper.  Men fished for fish, but God's nets caught men.