The title of this poem comes from Shakespeare's King Lear:
As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods,
They kill us for their sport.
King Lear Act 4, scene 1, 36–37
What must it feel like
for a fish
to be in a tank.
With fancy names-
Corydoras, cyprinids, characids, darters...
Swimming, colliding, battling in a small space,
Feeding on timed crumbs,
seeing the world from a glass cage
watching a humanity that is free!
A captivating captive,
It's beauty its bane.
hope or despair?
What hope - but cleaning, feeding, mating
Of life spent endlessly
swimming in a claustrophobic well,
Exercising in an artificial Hell
flitting through false lights
hiding amid plastic exotica...
Is my life too
A study in meaninglessness,
Immersed in a tank of air?
What is hope then and what is despair?
Cleaning, feeding, mating.
Who is my audience
And who do I entertain?
Am I "As flies to wanton boys..."
As Shakespeare might say?