The fish danced a squirming tango

futility on a dangled point

I tugged

It gasped

We worked against each other’s efforts

for release and freedom

My finger pierced by the barbed end

Its lip torn by the thrashing to and fro of our joint effort

our blood running together and down my hand

making a scarlet tributary on its body

traversing around scale and fin

until the tear was large enough

to remove the sharp object

before it became fatal for one

Dipping the head and immersing the rebellious body

I watched it swim away from the blood stream clouding its liquid salvation

realizing we were both wounded

The fish for being tempted

Me for baiting the hook


Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!

16 thoughts on “Perch”

  1. You know what I find fascinating about fishing? You really should throw back the children and pregnant women but it’s ok to keep the old blokes and cut the ugly ones heads off to get your hook back. Still, I do enjoy fishing and eating them too – which I think is justified by that other general attitude which says ‘kill only that which you can consume’. One of my fave teenage pasttimes was digging my feet into the sand as the waves rushed in and out and catching pippies from between my toes before they were dragged away. When I went back to school in my late teens to complete my basic education, I wrote a story for general ed English about a pippie that grabbed my toe and chewed me up slowly and whole!

    1. LOL Brad, indeed catch and live release is the only way. I let them all go, male, female, ugly, attractive, perch, sunfish, dog fish, bass etc but never ever ever did I throw back a Pike…of course, I never caught one either lol. I like that story about a pippie and if you have that kicking around, either in hard copy or your memory I will make the bold request that you post it on your blog at some point. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks B, yes, a very scaly fish tale with subtle nuance of blood and guts, and that’s just the poor damn worms fate lol Oh yeah, you don’t eat anything with a face….hmmm I think I’ll write one about a wild Tofu I corralled one day on the plains at the height of the tree hugging wars lol πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you Singer, it’s interesting you should choose that line because it’s the only one I altered because of a redundancy with the last line.

  2. I was about to write that I love the poem, but think it should end on ‘we were both wounded’ then of course I read the above comments, and I think I’m outnumbered!

    1. Hi Maxine, long time no see! I’ve missed seeing you, and as you know, I just slap them up there as is. My blog is the poetic version of a thrift store, all items raw, with rough edges but hopefully the flaws are part of their charm. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Cin, I think the best poetry is gleaned from personal experience, even something as inane as me fishing, frothing at the mouth to win a boat and an outboard motor lol I’m still a bitter betty about not ever winning it, how sad is that?

  3. Love it Val!Some people certainly are like slippery fish doing a ‘squirming tango’ – better off letting them go free (even though sometimes we really want to lure them close and hang on desperately). I’ve lost me a few fish but they were all piranhas anyhow.

    1. LOL Gabrielle, isn’t that the truth! I don’t think there is one type of human being not represented by an animal and I’ve known a few of those piranhas as well. Me, I’m like a cat, a capable loner with claws and fangs, who purrs occasionally but never really submits. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Corra, it felt like a fish day today and the last two lines were an afterthought so I’m especially pleased I chose to leave them right there, closing the door at the end of the verse. I have a podcast as well as a youtube channel if you are interested in hearing me read my work. πŸ™‚

  4. Who tempted the fish and who suffered the most?

    I would have been burned by hot grease and there would be scales on the ground. πŸ™‚

    1. This was a true memory of mine Mark. I used to live in a resort town (Orillia Ontario) for many years and one of the perks of living there was the fishing. Each year they held a Perch Festival and if you caught one of the tagged perch you won a new boat and outboard motor. Well, I had a itch to win it and entered it every single year and this one year I was fishing in front of my in-law’s cottage and in my eagerness to toss back the poor unfortunate perch from the poem, I tore my finger on the hook while trying to extricate the poor little bugger and free him. Later, it occurred to me that we both paid a price for our mutual greed, his a worm and mine a boat and outboard motor. lol Ah, the memories aint they grand? Thanks for liking this and of course he would also have been in the frying pan as you mention in your comment but alas he was to small even for and couple of bites.

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