March 10, 2006

The gilly by Ken Belford

They put me to work on the shore, grabbing and landing the hens.
I brought fish to my lure but had no hook. It is easy to imagine
the Steelhead among the boulders. I charmed them
but did not deceive them. The Steelhead were drawn to my intrigue.
I did not chase them. I drew them from their hiding places
and soothed them. I brought them close so I could see them.
But I would not imitate the hen so I could hook the buck.
I would not need the techne reel. I carried no gadgets.
In high water I saw them in the bush. They were love-sick
so I didn’t tease them or set the hook. Fishermen brag
about their hot hens. And they brag about their technology.
The photos degrade the fish, especially the hero shot.
Steelhead are the most vulnerable to men.
Mimicry, language and gadgets are their tools of the slaughter.
The focus is mostly on the men and their desire
and little is on the fish. The fish is just a thing but
at the same time the men seek to experience the life of the fish.
The fish experiences the hard hand of the fisher, and
just as in hate and sex crimes, apathy and empathy are there.


hardyf said...

ken's a rock. words like an affectionate punch. thanx for this space for his words to unravel-rethink-remind.

Rick J said...
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