Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I Wrote This Poem

Salmon Migration
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true. Salmon live along the coasts of both the North Atlantic (one migratory species Salmo salar) and Pacific Oceans (approximately a dozen species of the genus Oncorhynchus), and have also been introduced into the Great Lakes of North America. Salmon are intensively produced in aquaculture in many parts of the world.

Typically, salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. However, there are populations of several species that are restricted to fresh water through their life. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they were born to spawn; tracking studies have shown this to be true, and this homing behavior has been shown to depend on olfactory memory.

Over at Three Word Wednesday (click on the link to see the other offerings) Thom offered
Dull; adjective: Lacking interest or excitement; lacking brightness, vividness, or sheen; (of a person) slow to understand; stupid; verb: Make or become dull or less intense.

Race; noun: A competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course; each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics; verb: Compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective; move or progress swiftly or at full speed.

Yawn; verb: involuntarily open one's mouth wide and inhale deeply due to tiredness or boredom; noun: A reflex act of opening one's mouth wide and inhaling deeply due to tiredness or boredom.

This poem insisted on going its own way. I did not write this one. It wrote itself. Every significant word and frame choice of mine was scratched and replaced, some more than once before I was permitted to complete the work.

Why I Wrote This Poem

Words are fish. Now I
need to learn to surf your love.

Words migrate upstream.
They race against time
and then with wild leaps they flash
past dull stone meaning
passing into realms
of verve and élan and weave
all bright around me.

Then even my yawn
turns incandescent within
your love’s tidal bore.

September 21, 2011 12:48 PM


  1. My heart races
    It's not a dull drum
    It pounds inside my chest
    The beat resonates throughout my bones
    Your complacency is daunting
    You meet my pounding heart with a yawn
    How can this be?
    Your interest , your passion
    Is it not the same as mine?
    A dark watery sadness floods my soul
    A realization that I learn from the flash in your eyes
    Dark evil and meant to be alone

  2. words are a part of our human movement, aren't they? they are silver threads which sew us loosely to what lies on the other side. what if we had no words? what then? music? yes. and pointing fingers with big eyes, look, this rock! look, this tree! look, this love!


  3. Thank you, Jenn. I thought of posting it for you, but the poem is not on your site and you said nothing about it. Good work.

  4. Erin, I am not so sure that the up side to words is all that much when everything wraps up. So many spiritual traditions call for silence, lengthy and disciplined, supported by community or by solitude. So as you say, What then?

    This is funny to say, of course, said by a poet with more that 1400 poems to his credit in just a few years. The manila folder with them printed out in order, more or less, mainly with six to a page, that folder is reaching its capacity.

  5. Slippery fish to catch and pin to the page..but you well..Jae

  6. "Words are fish." H'mm. I'll have to mullet over. :-)

  7. Berownie!!! splutter!
    But, as this post has become a discussion of the poem and its vocabulary, I wonder why you needed to provide the glossary when some of the point of poetry is (I am told) to allow readers to find their own shades of meaning.
    But, I must add, that in my own writing, I try to make my meanings crystal clear in the belief that poems are a way of conveying shades of meaning not possible in prose.

  8. I included the definitions just for the halibut.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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