Aquarius

Original Text: 
Phyllis Gotlieb, The Works: Collected Poems (Toronto: Calliope Press, 1978): 4.
1The slow clock whorls of snails
2mark time here; such calendars
3patterned earlier dark ooze
4into reluctant longitudes.
5Fluted they give lipservice
6over sand and slime,
7dance, hornbranching
8one-footed sine
9impervious
10while molly and platy
11(bread-and-butter names)
12nip-nap-nubble the grown scrolls
13of snailshell, gossip the green.
14Behind the screen
15of glass I watch,
16scrape algae, dole
17dry crumbs of food into the gape
18of tiger-striped predators,
19a blaze of jaws untoothed
20still showing in memory of the warmer
21Amazon (a lunge and seethe
22of living waters) the red raw gorge.
23Beyond these elegant admirations
24in the pale fishwarmth of antichlorined waters
25frilly snails pace
26poring glissandos sucklocked
27to glass, timeless, the protozoan's
28relentless ungrace.
Publication Start Year: 
1964
Publication Notes: 
Within the Zodiac. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Special Copyright: 

Copyright 1979 The Works: Collected Poems of Phyllis
Gotlieb Calliope Press