An Augustinian Awakening

Is London's Hotel Ritz under water
or sandwiched between fish tank in front
and a whale aquarium in the back?

Are the conductor and musicians playing
Handel's Water Music, Schubert's Trout Quintet,
or Hovhaness' And God Created Great Whales?

In the grand ballroom two couples are waltzing,
two birds flying above the floor, while wolves
watch a biker and his ghost double ride away.

Is the artist in Café Florian or
looking at it pondering the fishes
or the two dark figures he's drawing?

At the table behind him is Colette
in deep reverie while her companion
strikes a match to light her cigarette.

Are we inside Colette's and her cat's
interior dreams with the choir boys leaving
as though religion is exiting this world?

At the far left Venetian gondolas float
on the floor— are these rescue vessels
for the oncoming flood at end times?

Suddenly, Augustine's awakening—
hexagonal beehive floor tiles hint at
God's six days of creation that's perfect.

We're in sacred space and Biblical times—
five musicians' soundings of water bringing
forth the whales on creation's fifth day

to the two witnesses of Revelations
that the Age of Pisces is yielding to
the Aquarian Age purifying us all

with seventeen fishes symbolizing
Simon Peter's catch at Galilee—
his unbroken net full of 153 fishes.

    — Peter Y. Chou
        Mountain View, 8-12-2009

Peter Milton, Interiors VI: Soundings (1989)