Cannery Row Aglow

Synonyms and antonyms,
Fats and slims and seraphims;
Knowing looks and vacant grins-
No telling where words lead.
Brazen moves
And shingled roofs
With horses hooves
Across fields of sinking moss,
When too much thinking
Causes sinking
And the horse’s gain
Is the pale rider’s loss.

Twirl the girl and chain the man
Who know but never understand
Why so many sardines
Allowed themselves to be canned;
It is not the smell of decay
On Steinbeck’s bay
Where the cannery rowed
While glittering fish scales
In the sight of the night
Lit by the waxing moon
Glowing always too late
And never too soon.

No one will wish
For the aroma
Of raw fish
Left out in the sun
To be noticed and shunned.
To know Cannery Row
Is to pick up and go
With the flow
Under piers
Where the tide remains
Forever low.

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