Best fin forward

In every city river
there’s atleast one old fish,
its pearlescent colour viewed
in peripheral circles,
never quite seen in a summer;

hidden in those sways.

And in every city,
there’s atleast one person,
their profile once recognised,
somewhere in a subway
of someone’s mind.

In an old boot,
an old fish dies.

Somehow, it’s a sadder image
than the lost ones,
those hidden in the sways
unable to surface swim.


3 thoughts on “Best fin forward

  1. ceris62 says:

    Nothing so sad as a fish out of water πŸ™‚

    Nice poem Matt, I love that word “sways”, reminds me of one of my favourites :

    “And I have asked to be
    Where no storms come,
    Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
    And out of the swing of the sea”

    (G Manley Hopkins, “Heaven-Haven”)

    I hope I don’t end up in an old boot!

  2. nemesis89 says:

    Nice poem. You somehow were quite nicely able to relate between people and fish.

  3. Matt says:

    Thank you for the replies, and I like the Manley Hopkins quote. I must read the full poem.

    I was trying to compare a rarely seen fish in a city river, with the people who end up being rarely seen too, those that tend to fade away or are hidden in the sways as it were.

    The old fish dies, alone in an old boot, I don’t know where that image came from, but I thought it a particulary sad one. There’s a Kate Bush song that has a line, “Every old sock meets an old shoe” ( Moments of pleasure ) which I think I had in my mind at the time. I wanted to convey something very small happening that could still have an emotional impact.

    The premise of the poem being that you may feel saddened by the image of the fish dying alone in that old boot, but why should that have more impact than the people left alone, the lost ones you may pass everyday.

    I guess I was in a melancholy mood at the time πŸ™‚

    “Best fin forward”, meaning I suppose we just become hardened to this, although I hope I never do completely.

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