To Guddle, Catch a Fish with your Hands

Just out of reach, an untamed phrase,

a wildcat word, an uncribbed melody, teases

my churning brain, till I remember


how my father caught a fish without a line,

without a hook.


Letting go, he said, is all it takes, a loosening

of time, the sinking of an anchor, breath

by breath, till everything within, steadies,


rocks gently in the swell and pulse

of your blood. Only then can you slide

your hand into the sleeve of the stream


let the water lick your skin, let it move

your fingers like strands of weed.


Wait, see how the stream skitters,

how mirror fragments form and separate,

how a leaf, sealed to the surface, passes


an overhanging branch, and disappears.

Wait till a shadow bruises the depths

you feel flesh against flesh


then curl your fingers into a cage,

lift the bright sliver into the light.




from ‘Pull of the Earth’ 2016 published by IDP