Of A Fisherman


‘Of A Fisherman’

(For Jonathan)

Fresh from the Greenland Sea
and from across the Continental Plate,
covered in sea lice,
yet still worthy of a shimmer,
you escaped them all
with a flash of silver…

Their nets, their trawlers and steel lines,
all came up empty
until his rod it took you
with the lure of worms
onto the grassy banks of the Moy,
where you lie now before him…

And he,
fresh too from ocean tides,
it’s currents and undertows
and rattled by storms,
somehow kept his head above water
through the hail of winters,
‘til at long last
his mast was mended
and he too was landed,
by a wink and a smile
(and perhaps the lure of a wee bun or two!),
onto the homely banks
of the Doagh River,
by a sly one alright!

So here now you both lie,
in a reflection of sorts,
man and fish,
at a parting of the river
while the dusk sets in…

There is respect in thine eyes,
you’ve both been here before
in these battles upstream,
but with your gills getting ever drier
you ask him with
what could be your last breath:
“would you dare obstruct another”?,
as your pupil begins to cloud over.

Yet it is an unspoken language,
all too familiar
that ripples upon
the surface of the water,
a part of the journey whose murmurs
resonate through the boughs of trees
as he looks up from you
to the river
misty-eyed and smiling,
lowering you gently near bulrush
back to the stream of your destiny…

And as the cool relief
of the evening water
brings you back to your senses
with a nimble shudder,
he answers the shrill call to tea-time,
and you mutter “It’s all downstream for some!”,
spitting out the remnants of worm
and thinking ‘never again’,
without looking back,
on up the Irish hinterland
getting ever closer to the source,
as he turns round hurriedly,
with a spring in his step
to take the hand
of what may turn out to be
the greatest catch of them all…

Click play to listen.
1. Of A Fisherman     

Peter GW Sumadh (aka The Mad Dalton)
Completed September 2012