Saturday Poem


What was his name again – that fisher lad
dragged under with his fankled nets –
him that the fishes hooked and filleted?
I often wonder if the irony of it all amused him
as he left off from kicking against the dark, and drowned:
not, (as his Mother always feared) to be lost at sea, but found.

Tell me you’ve never seen a hangman hung,
nor laughed at the dying tenor, topped by his own song;
nor stumbled across a baker’s corpse, rising like dough;
nor wept with the weeping ferryman while Charon
gummed his coin. Friends, we’re all done for by the things we do.
If I were a farmer, I’d shrink from the ripening grain.

by John Glenday
from Grain
publisher: Picador, London, 2009