© 2008 -- 2011 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Dying, the salmon leap the dams, taking
no food until they reach their destined stream,
then lie together to climb, forsaking
all but release from the dark primal dream

of birth, the odor of gravelly holes
that went with them down to sea, there to rise
like tides swelling the mouths of rivers, shoals
that rush headlong backwards in time. Their prize,

death without knowing, obliteration.

Just as here, I, shedding a lifetime’s fears,
feel the dark rush of anticipation.
In hope of hearing songs of ancient seers
I’ve stalked the echoes of superstition
and learned the rhythms of death’s repetition.

Originally published in The Amherst Review, 1986.
© copyright 2004, 2009 the Grandpa at The Word Mechanic Blog.
All rights reserved.


  1. Bravo
    Hana Hou! (Do it again, one mo`!)

  2. Wow! I love the flow of your writing. It reads like music!

  3. Funny and weird, because I was relating myself to a salmon just yesterday..

    Because I left my country for a decade to travel around the globe, and then finally came back home to the very same place I grew up, to put my kids in the same school I went to. LOL :)