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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 8: June 2021
Poem: 108 words
+ Visual Art: Painting
By Bill Waters

Swimming to Byzantium: A Parody

This is no country for old fish. 
Too easily netted or hooked, 
we gasp for air, lying in a dish 
while waiting to be cooked. 

An elderly fish is a thing 
of pity—fins without vigor, 
tails without much swish or zing. 
Young fish are stronger (though not bigger). 

Sage, thyme, and God’s holy fire 
will usher me out of this life. 
A brazier shall be my pyre; 
my priestess shall be a fishwife. 

Goodbye, Bosporus! I take leave 
and ascend with the scented smoke! 
Free of my body, I will not grieve; 
an old fish is but a bitter joke.


—after a painting by Lorette C. Luzajic (below),
and a poem by William Butler Yeats

Swimming to Byzantium: mixed-media painting by Lorette C. Luzajic
Swimming to Byzantium (mixed-media collage on canvas)

Copyrighted © by Lorette C. Luzajic. All rights reserved.
Reproduced here with artist’s permission.

Bill Waters
Issue 8, June 2021

is a writer of short poetry and compressed prose. He also runs the Poetry in Public Places Project, a Facebook/real-world group interested in creating and promoting poetry in public spaces to increase the richness of everyday life. Bill lives in Pennington, New Jersey, U.S.A., with his wonderful wife and their two amazing cats.

Poet’s website: https://billwatershaiku.wordpress.com

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Some Mistakes Take More Than Mere Regrets to Mend in The Ekphrastic Review (5 June 2017), reprinted from The Luzajic Variations, an ekphrastic collaboration between Waters and Luzajic

Lorette C. Luzajic
Issue 8, June 2021

is from Toronto, Canada. Her prose poetry and flash fiction are widely published in literary journals and anthologies, with recent or forthcoming appearances in Gyroscope, Free Flash Fiction, Bright Flash, Club Plum, Red Eft, and Indelible. A recent story won first place in a contest at MacQueen’s Quinterly, and her work has been nominated multiple times for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Her most recent of five poetry collections is Pretty Time Machine: Ekphrastic Prose Poems. Some of her works have been translated into Urdu.

Lorette is founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review (established 2015), a journal devoted to writing inspired by art. She is also an award-winning visual artist, with collectors in 25 countries from Estonia to Qatar. Visit her at: www.mixedupmedia.ca

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