A Fish's Tale

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Mitch Featherston

a skewered bit of fish
spoke to me
of its long adventure
in silent reverie
watching the light
careen through bubbles
long left
by plankton’s organizational crimes
as it filtered down
(in otherness)

it danced upon
the upward draft
of these air bubbles
feeling their circumference
bursting upon gill and scale
a rhythmic tambourine
tumbling broadside

and as it ventured its tale
of sun’s dance
i felt my heart
squeeze a bit
a nuanced caress
life against life
as its story now became mine.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

posted for  the Poetry Pantry 135


  1. Oh beautiful about a fish's tale indeed Audrey. Made me think of the fish's we had recently.

  2. I think about that otherness, the way a chicken or a fish's life 'becomes mine' when I eat meat...which is why I don't like to eat much meat. Beautiful poem!

  3. Wonderful story within a story as your narrator prepares to eat. And is the narrator human? I feel a sense of infinity here or at least a piece of the cycle of give and take on this planet. Gently done!

  4. Thought-provoking writing, Audrey. I like the way you relate to the fish and also think about life against life and how its story becomes yours. We are definitely all related in some way!

  5. The gratitude makes the meal sublime.

  6. intriguing piece...leaves a lot of food for thought.

  7. This makes me think of my grandson who "doesnt eat anything with a face". It makes one think, for certain. Life being as precious to the fish as to us.

  8. I think this is brilliant. The circle of life, well told.

  9. This makes me think of the early Native Americans who called to their prey, then thanked them for giving their life, that the people might live. It definitely has a mystical feel about it,


  10. Great wording and I really love 'organizational crimes' - priceless.

  11. I am thankful I am a vegetarian.

    Beautiful take on this, Audrey!

  12. Elizabeth made mention of the American Indians process above, while I was thinking of how they did the same in the movie Avatar. Perhaps being raised at times on my Grandparents farm assisted me in understanding everything has its purpose. Great poem!

  13. very nice audrey...your consciousness of the fishes tale...and relating to it as well...we are all linked and in this together you know...

  14. I love the idea that the fish's tale becomes a part of you! Well told tale!

  15. Amazing. This grabbed my attention straight away . Love "plankton's organizational crimes". Humour in the midst of melancholy. Beautiful work.

  16. A beautiful write, I felt as if I was swimming with the fish in the great oceans, seeing and feeling everything the fish could:-))

  17. Yes we must respect what we eat by honouring it with fine careful cooking which is a kind of a ritual offering.

  18. amazing, what a little bit of fish can prompt! seems to me that prayer before meal ought to give thanks to the cycle of life providing nourishment, wellness, health. God's right there, don't you think?

  19. You delved deep into the relationship we should have with nature. Great words.

  20. because fish used to be so plentiful, people tend to think of it primarily as food. your poem is an interesting angle on this life cycle. :)

  21. We are all joined, it seems.

    Plankton's organizational crime -- LOVE that!!

    Now I can put my scuba-diving yen to rest -- who needs to travel when you can dive into Audrey's poems where the ocean experience is yours. I felt the bubbles on my bare skin, and heard them too. Nice job!


  22. And the story continues on an alimentary track...

    Others have already mentioned the quite excellent phrasing you put together, and, I join their praise.

  23. Thought-provoking and beautiful writing indeed!

  24. Such a fanciful tale but not far from the truth as was related to you...


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