A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Salmon

While on the Rocky Mountaineer train I took part in and won an on-board poetry competition. My poem concerned the life cycle of the millions of salmon who spawn in a lake which the train passed. Beyond the fact that it rhymes and has for the most part a consistent rhythm this poem has little if any merit, and is in my own opinion ridiculously pretentious; nevertheless, the rest of the carriage lapped it up so I'm posting it here.

The Salmon
by Andrew Pearson

The lake, the ancient spawning ground
is tinged with pink the whole way round:
The salmon, having come upstream
have laid their eggs and gone to dream.

In weeks to come the eggs will hatch
Their awesome numbers set to match
the stars above; and yet net one
in a hundred will ever come back home.

They swim downstream for a year and a day
They swim downstream, let come what may
While most will face a death horrific
The fittest few will reach the Pacific.

They spread their fins with wordless glee
To far-flung corners of the sea.
As each fish travels where he likes
At once their natural instinct strikes!

All guided by the magnetic earth
To the great lake of their birth,
The salmon swim, but do not eat
Growing weaker each day of the feat.

Until, at last! The destination!
The last rest of a generation.
With final breaths the salmon mate,
And then commit themselves to fate.

The prize on the right, the prize idiot responsible for this poem on the left.

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