Learn More

Howard Nemerov

(29 February 1920 – 5 July 1991 / New York City, New York)

The Goose Fish


On the long shore, lit by the moon
To show them properly alone,
Two lovers suddenly embraced
So that their shadows were as one.
The ordinary night was graced
For them by the swift tide of blood
That silently they took at flood,
And for a little time they prized
Themselves emparadised.

Then, as if shaken by stage-fright
Beneath the hard moon's bony light,
They stood together on the sand
Embarrassed in each other's sight
But still conspiring hand in hand,
Until they saw, there underfoot,
As though the world had found them out,
The goose fish turning up, though dead,
His hugely grinning head.

There in the china light he lay,
Most ancient and corrupt and grey.
They hesitated at his smile,
Wondering what it seemed to say
To lovers who a little while
Before had thought to understand,
By violence upon the sand,
The only way that could be known
To make a world their own.

It was a wide and moony grin
Together peaceful and obscene;
They knew not what he would express,
So finished a comedian
He might mean failure or success,
But took it for an emblem of
Their sudden, new and guilty love
To be observed by, when they kissed,
That rigid optimist.

So he became their patriarch,
Dreadfully mild in the half-dark.
His throat that the sand seemed to choke,
His picket teeth, these left their mark
But never did explain the joke
That so amused him, lying there
While the moon went down to disappear
Along the still and tilted track
That bears the zodiac.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: moon, success, together, fish, smile, light, world, alone, dark, night, fishing, kiss

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Goose Fish by Howard Nemerov )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 2 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  2. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Winter Solstice, Jacqueline C Nash
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A little while a little love
The hour yet bears for thee and me
Who have not drawn the veil to see
If still our heaven be lit above.
Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Balances, Smoky Hoss
  2. Alone And Wretched, Muhammad Farhan Ahmed
  3. Missing You, Michael P. McParland
  4. A Wanderer, Noah Body
  5. Adil Jussawalla A Poet Of The Fragmented.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  6. Villanelle: Nothing so upturns creative .., T (no first name) Wignesan
  7. यादों का आवागमन............, sanjay kumar maurya
  8. Chiquitita, Matthias Pantaleon
  9. Through Heaven's Backdoor, Smoky Hoss
  10. A Little Daughter, What Have I In Poor I.., Bijay Kant Dubey
[Hata Bildir]