Fishbones Dreaming

Fishbones Dreaming

Fishbones lay in the smelly bin.
He was a head, a backbone and a tail.
Soon the cats would be in for him.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was fat, and hot on a plate.
Beside green beans, with lemon juice
squeezed on him. And a man with a knife
and fork raised, about to eat him.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was frozen in the freezer.
With lamb cutlets and minced beef and prawns.
Three months he was in there.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was squirming in a net,
with thousands of other fish, on the deck
of a boat. And the rain falling
wasn’t wet enough to breathe in.

He didn’t like to be this way.
He shut his eyes and dreamed back.

Back to when he was darting through the sea,
past crabs and jellyfish, and others
like himself. Or surfacing to jump for flies
and feel the sun on his face.

He liked to be this way.
He dreamed hard to try and stay there.


from Up on the Roof: New and Selected Poems (Faber & Faber, 2001), © Matthew Sweeney, 2001, used by permission of the author and publisher.

Where next?

Recordings

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1The Flying Spring Onion

2Cows on the Beach

3Cecil the Spider

4Fishbones Dreaming

5Lucy's Gosling

6James' Mum

7Johnjoe's Snowman

8Blue Hair

9The Red House

10Honey

11My Dear Mungo

12Night Boy

13All the Dogs

14Me and Benjy

15After Dinner

16Up on the Roof

17Dog in Space

18The Money Tree

19Worrying Days

20Flat Bird

21Ghost Story

22Sing

23A Boy

24Cornered

25Off School

26The New Boy

27Only the Wall

28In the Desert

28The Silent Knight

30The Not-So-Slow Loris

31The Nobody on the Hill

32A New Me

33Bones

34The Field

35The Bad Girl Haiku

36While I Practise my Piano

37My Party

38Smile

39Spotlight

40The Moon

41The Burglar

42The Butcher

43Mule

44The Sleeping Sailor

45Gold

46I Went to the Future

47Maggot Song