Angler by Richard Moorhead
There is nothing like the tug,
both sudden and so full of slowness.
Shorn of noise
it has the down deep
stumbling of mouth; the savagery
of hooked lip; catgut
numbing as it pulls
through reeds. The grease of river
coppered with a wisp of trout blood.
It becomes this heartstring
in a bell ringer’s hands, forever sinking
down while the old rod bends.
Eyelets – that could pitch like boats -
are bound firm. Here, near the tip,
is the heavenly bend -willow,
varnished Portuguese brown. His
knife-blade oiled in a leather pouch
sharpened on his Dad’s old stone.