Sep 03

I Once Killed a Butter Fish

The time was ten,
the sun bright, cruel-almost terrifying.

The light wasn't silver or gold,
the light wasn't blue or jade,
it was only a sharp, clear air that
somehow blinded me through each thickened cloud.

The time was ten one.
Ten two,
ten three and four,
ten five,
ten eight, ten thirteen...
The time was soon to be ten twenty,
and inevitably to be ten fifty.

What we called "butter fish"
would fly up in the air when we kicked
at their piles.
Their dead, colorful piles.

The butter fish were red and green,
they drifted with incredible grace and control
all the way to our tiny feet.

The brown ones didn't fly.
The brown ones would melt
into the earth if you stepped on them too hard.
The brown ones were weak and rotting,
dead and dry...

The butter fish, though beautiful,
were fragile in many ways.
They would float on water
when they landed in water.
They would float on air
when they caught the wind.

The butter fish were gentle things,
flat and cold, 
yet always bundled up against each other.

The butter fish didn't speak...
The butter fish didn't sing or laugh.
They didn't run away or come to us,
stoic, empty..

They came in different shapes and widths,
they travelled in mixes and groups,
the butter fish weren't like us.
Perhaps they didn't realize their differences,
or perhaps they simply didn't care. 

Maybe they were smart enough
to know that peace was possible 
in variety,
or maybe they were just 
incredibly stupid.

The butter fish laid a path in the woods,
a path that changed each day.
I followed it, respecting every stone and tree,
living in peace like they did.

But one day, the sun was too hot.
One day the butter fish were too cold.
I was older then, 
"smarter", "wiser", "capable"
I'd learned that difference mattered,
but that we had to pretend like it didn't in order to have peace
within it.

I learned lies and stupid things like
and war.

I'd seen people fight like animals
because one didn't have food
and the other had more than enough.

I'd learned about greed
and selfishness,
and sin.

I learned that I was part of not the butter fish' careless 'society'
but part of the idiotic world
that fought in vain in a sick attempt
to create peace.

I yearned for the butter fish to teach
and show,
but those ignorant souls outside 
would not pay attention, would not commit.
envied the butter fish.

So that one day, I,
blinded by the idiotic tendencies of man,
blinded by my anger at myself 
and my judgements,
I took my knowledge
about fire,
and about sin,
and set out for a revenge on innocence.

I'd learned the terrible ways 
of heat,
I'd learned the unspeakable crimes upon nature.

It'd been carved into my mind
that I, as a human
was selfish and unkind.
Yet, somehow, I was still good?

I took my flames and hatred,
my jealousy and heat,
I found the butter fish, lying in sleepy corners,
dilly dallying in brooks,
and I blasted them with a spray can and a match.

In milliseconds, each butter fish 
would disappear,
the ashes of their wise souls,
reflected in my tears.

After that day, I realized remorse,
regret and guilt.
But the butter fish' giant clan
neither sought revenge
nor unwelcomed me to their forests.

I found, at that time,
that "butter fish" were simply
stupid leaves,
and I was simply 
a stupid human.

The butter fish, 
once beautiful and kind,
from my mind
were never more.

They neither waved goodbye,
or comforted me.
They never apologised nor laughed.
After all, butter fish aren't butter fish,
but the past is always the past.

About the Author: Michmich