Tuesday, 25 August 2009


One morning early I was in his smallest boat with Dick Squire,
just the two of us,
and we were chugging home against the tide from upriver.

He was creeping around the banks like only he could,
never hardly snagging the Seagull
but when, quickly depressing the tank
bringing the blades clear of the mud with a splendid roar,
then in a second bringing us clear again,
letting the blades fall back into the deep and thus most surely homeward,
when, looking across a stretch of water like any stretch of water,
Dick said to me: Wayland, do you see those mullet? So many fine fish! Do you see them?
All I could see was the stretch of water
and we had no net.

So many fine mullet, he said and we sped home and he,
with ancient energy
folded his mullet net into the boat and back we went.
There they go, he shouted. Do you see?
But all I could see was a stretch of water like any stretch of water.

Then Dick killed the motor and I pulled as he told me.
Come up Wayland, come up a bit!
and he let out his net,
and this was on the bank below the marine camp
a terrible place for moots but we caught no moots.
We caught thirty stone of mullet in one haul.

And we landed our thirty stone of fine fish on the slip at Lympstone.

And it took us all afternoon just to clear the net.

(Tomorrow ‘A Chance Encounter’)

No comments:

Post a Comment