The Fisherman

The Fisherman

The water is too clear,
They’ll see him on his rock, with his new rod.
The bait is well enough,
Wriggling on its hook, on its line.

Baseball cap and body-warmer,
Plastic box and perched beer-can,
The lowering Pen Llyn sun and April breeze
Weathering his slow-burning face.

“Look at him up there on the rocks,
Trying to catch us.
He’s a holidaymaker,
You can tell them a mile off.
Let’s swim around for a bit,
He’ll think he has a chance.”

The fish are too clever.
He cannot hypnotise them from there.
They see themselves in his mirrored shades,
Through the slowly tilting surface
And tease him in their fishy way.

“I’m going back now Brian,
We’ve been here hours
You’ve not caught a thing.”

She is clear enough
And scrambles to the path.

He stays and casts once more
Into the flat green shallow.
The last stragglers lose the setting sun
On Llanbedrog beach
And drag reluctant dogs,
From the bay.

He thinks.

“If I could stand here
All day, every day
Like this, I would.
I’d stare from the headland to the mountains,
From the beach to the distant promenade.
I’d smell the gorse and hear the birds
And watch the boats and the kids with nets on bamboo poles
And hear the breath-taken voices of the unseen
On the cliffs, marvelling at the view.”

He shouts up.

“OK Yvonne love, go back,
I’ll catch you up,
I’m going to fish a little while longer.”

She smiles at us as we scuff by on the rough path
And rolls her eyes fondly.

“He won’t catch anything”

As we watch him cast again, I want to say

“He doesn’t need to.”

John Dexter Jones - The Fisherman

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