The fisherman


Shivering from the sea,

I squat and watch

as the line trembles

then arches,


His dog nuzzles my hands and I am grateful for the warmth

as we watch the line cut

an arc towards us.


Breaking the waves

Solid muscle thrashing,


Turning inwards on itself

tricked by the






is announced.

Don’t watch this bit

He says,

I do,

The first strike of stone

on head

on stone

is not enough,

It takes two before stillness.


Do you eat it

I ask

My wife does

He says.

Somehow this makes it better

That this fish is not wasted


The cloud of fish I swam with just the other day;


chased by mackerel

chased by bass and

Hooked by man

Then eaten for tea.


He catches a second easily

and I have taken my leave before a third

(Will he catch a third?)

Because I want to believe

That this is not just some adrenalin hook

where he will take too much

where guts and scales

will go to waste,

I want to believe that he knows the limit to his needs

and can gratefully bow to fish and sea

and return home satisfied


no more



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