The Fisherman

Walking the dog on the only dry day of the week

East along the beach with the tide reluctantly rolling backwards

A two layer skein of brent geese speed past going west

From Clymping toward Pagham Harbour’s muddy grazing

Seen then gone in two minutes or less

The geese and full sun wake him and memories tumble out

Walking in step, we negotiate the dripping, barnacled groynes

His black labrador begging for attention with a new found sodden tennis ball

As he tells me of his life fishing

Not a word about his work from which he retired

Black bream, flat fish, eels and the Sargasso Sea

A memory of bait from a single rock pool that would last a day’s fishing

He has a boat and goes out when he can

He is still that boy who’d run from Woodingdean to Rottingdean to fish

There’s been talk of a move inland when he gets older, but he will

Never grow old, nor move from the sea.


CLP 30/11/2018