Our August 2016 Poem of the Month is The Trout by John Montague which originally
appears in A Chosen Light (1967) and is now available in his New Collected Poems (2012).
for Barrie Cooke
Flat on the bank I parted
Rushes to ease my hands
In the water without a ripple
And tilt them slowly downstream
To where he lay, tendril-light,
In his fluid sensual dream.
Bodiless lord of creation,
I hung briefly above him
Savouring my own absence,
Senses expanding in the slow
Motion, the photographic calm
That grows before action.
As the curve of my handsSwung under his body
He surged with visible pleasure.
I was so preternaturally close
I could count every stipple
But still cast no shadow, until
The two palms crossed in a cage
Under the lightly pulsing gills.
Then (entering my own enlarged
Shape, which rode on the water)
I gripped. To this day I can
Taste his terror on my hands.
from New Collected Poems (2012)
by John Montague