Hauling in the Seine

With each rhythmic grunt
the fishermen haul you in.
Spilled out on moon-soaked sand
you are sea harvest now, bewilderment
fixed in your lidless eyes,
gills sucking emptiness.

Fishermen celebrate. They blow
staccato harmonies on conches
calling the fish-tea cooks.

Like night gulls they come in a clamour,
brandishing tin-pans and calabashes.
Before the sun comes up
they will be feasting on fish-tea:

a fish broth
wid some green figs, onion, ah squeeze ah lime,
some thyme an a Scotch bonnet pepper
drop in whole fuh flavor.
Is good fuh de brain
dem ole people say.


from Cook-up In A Trini Kitchen (Peepal Tree Press, 2009), © John Lyons 2009, used by permission of the author

Where next?

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

John Lyons

John Lyons Downloads

1Chickichong

£0.89

2Madbull Kite

£0.89

3Grown Away

£0.89

4Skin Skin, Yuh Na Know Meh

£0.89

5Not Every Old Woman is a Souyouan

£0.89

6You Not A Soucouyant

£0.89

7Soucouyant On Bonfire Night

£0.89

8The Tamboo Bamboo Band

£0.89

9Gru-Gru Beff

£0.89

10Bobolee

£0.89

11Great-Grannie Mammie’s Sunday Food

£0.89

12Hauling in the Seine

£0.89

13Bonito in the Night

£0.89

14Fish on the Menu

£0.89

15King Fish

£0.89

16Jumbies

£0.89

17When Mum Switches on the Dark

£0.89

18Carnival Jumbie

£0.89

19The Climbing Skeleton

£0.89

20I Love Chicken Roast

£0.89

21Witch Ghost

£0.89

22TV Alien

£0.89

23A Room in the City

£0.89

24In a Welsh Cafe

£0.89

25Grandpa Dolphus

£0.89

26Terre-Animus

£0.89

27Hauntings

£0.89

28My Praying Mantis

£0.89

29Mantis

£0.89

30Z Sprittle Lepidopterist

£0.89

31An Iguana Chase

£0.89

32Mongoose

£0.89

33Pig’s Boast

£0.89

34My Dog Named Woopsin

£0.89

35Kisskadee Bird

£0.89

36Ancestors Say Goodbye

£0.89

37Christmas Come-An-Gorn

£0.89