Wednesday, February 1, 2012


artwork: francha barnard

WEAVERS(for the Hickey Brothers fishermen)
by Francha Barnard

They stand side by side
in the low-ceilinged shack;
two strong young men
practicing an old man’s art.

Net pulled to line,
hold tight,
over, around and through.

Gossamer nets hang low between them.
Two taut nylon lines stretch
waist-high through the room
attached to opposite walls.

Ten phrases of six,
then three on the float,
over, around and through.

Bobbins in hand, they snail-pace backwards,
catch net to line and tie it tight,
eyes never lifting; rhythm unbroken,
hours a day; days for weeks.

Ten phrases of six,
then three on the lead,
over, around and through.

Summertime catchers of fish;
wintertime menders of nets,
from their deft hands grow new webs:
Arachne’s opus before Athena’s ire.

~ first published in Peninsula Pulse