August 11, 2011

Time of salmon – Stephen T Berg

As, no doubt, many of you, I occasionally like to take a single verse and write a kind of meditation/reflection. Just to see where it goes:
Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity (Psalm 39.5 KJV).
Capilano River

From a wooden bridge I watch coho and chinook jump in the Capilano river.
First there is a black line deep in the clear green water,
then a quick-rising cylinder of silver breaks the surface
—a brief arch of twisting energy—  
then a slipping under, and with three quick flits of caudal fin,
back to a black outline leaving only a white foam of memory on the water.
These green waters under the yellow spruce and red cedar,
stippled by salmon making their last hard run upriver,
are older than the hemlock and fir,
older than the angular face of the granite below.
This day is like the flash of a breaching salmon.
My best state, like speckled foam on the water.
And all my days together are a handbreadth.
From this height I see my reflection,
variegated, fluid, and drawn down stream.
I am part river. My cells are full of clear green water.
I am also part Sitka and lovely amabilis fir.
And I am the banana slug and pika, the brown creeper and chum,
I am the trail the burrow the branch the runnel.
Should I decry the brevity of this life? Does the salmon?


  1. Enjoyed reading your writing style and reflection. Thank you

  2. Lovely! It reminded me of going to our friends' fish camp in the summers in northern BC. They would spend several weeks there catching and preserving salmon for the winter. We were privileged to be invited on several occasions and enjoyed fresh salmon three times a day!


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