Friday, March 17, 2006

For St. Patrick's Day, a Fish Poem

From Irish poet John Montague (this one found in my 1986 edition of The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, edited by Paul Muldoon):

The Trout

Flat on the bank I parted
Rushes to ease my hands
In the water without a ripple
And tilt them slowly downstream
To where he lay, tendril light,
In his fluid sensual dream.

Bodiless lord of creation
I hung briefly above him
Savouring my own absence
Senses expanding in the slow
Motion, the photographic calm
That grows before action.

As the curve of my hands
Swung under his body
He surged, with visible pleasure.
I was so preternaturally close
I could count every stipple
But still cast no shadow, until

The two palms crossed in a cage
Under the lightly pulsing gills.
Then (entering my own enlarged
Shape, which rode on the water)
I gripped. To this day I can
Taste his terror on my hands.

-- John Montague

1 comment:

shann said...

There used to be a bar in Tucson called the Green Dolphin, i think, about as far as you could get from anything Irish, but my ex-husband and his ex-roommate Seibert used to get crazy there on St. Patrick's Day. Is it still there and just as vile?

I'm not much for beer, but my corned beef is boiling right now.

boiled meet. mmmmmm.

happy day, sir.