The Myth of Sissyfish

It started with the weaver fish
A torrid, stormy August day
Awash with sea, damp sand and weed
An inexplicable ache
Convinced I had broken my toe
By some divine contrivance
Unbeknown until a small dark mark
Revealed itself a puncture wound
Young Horton fetched the lifeboat girl
Who boiled our beach hut kettle thrice
And toe steeped thus for half an hour
Relinquished all but residual pain

Could this have been the catalyst
A cunning plot of Sissyfish
Which caused my tentative attempt to mount
A treacherous, unyielding kerb
When, following day, I sprawled, bi-cycle-less
Onto the pavement, damp
All hands and knees, bloodied, flawed
A fifty something scraped from floor
By gentlefolk three score years
And ten and then some more

Although when I attained the fifty mark
I chose to stick not twist
The trick in having reached this summit
Is to plummet back again
Reverse, reverse, this sorry verse
Recycle headlong down the years
Revive our former selves
Abate all mortal fears
With wilful self delusion

When we reach fifty time goes back
Last week I reached the tender age of forty three
So here’s the crack
It’s all about belief you see
And more importantly
The feelings that we choose to feel
An endless reel
Of reeling mirth
A constant rondo of rebirth

So still we biked to Swanage pier
With fishing gear
And caught… a weaver fish
Hooked clean through the head
Where brains should be
If weavers ever had the scope
To cogitate upon
Self-gulling hope
This one might note a certain irony
Pathetic as I was in my triumphal reeling in
Of this an innocent sister fish
Like some racist islamaphobic thug
Enacting vengeance on a fishy mosque
Revenge a dish
Best served repeatedly
A never ending modern Myth of Sissyfish
Not weaving legends, nor fishy myths
But merely drowning in a sea of endlessly derisive bliss

weaver fish





And so to distant primary school
The summer holidays no more
Young Horton in his uniform
The daily odyssey resumes
Is it five minutes ‘til we get there
What five?
Five hours?
Yes.. NO! minutes
Five minutes?
No it’s four now
For fucks sake
Sudden brakes as waves of diligent maternal husks
Shimmy cross the zebra stripes
Like my once and future wife
Recycling former glories
Kiddies in their uniforms
Whilst others all grown up

We drove one such to Liverpool
Took all her saxophones and bikes
Bags of clothes
Bags of stuff
Comprised of God alone what knows
Followed by her younger brother
Installed in licenced Hrothgar halls
Beneath the elevated section
Of Motorway Number Four
Committed way beyond their means
To Paragons not virtuous
But something which was later called
A commercial fucking transaction
Without the F word
And then again to Liverpool to re-collect said daughter’s bags
All wrapped up in one enormous sack
An early Santa stuck down the ‘chiminey’
Of Cameronian reality
Not mugged, just Clegged
Come home again to roost and lick her wounds
Once more the boulder grinning at us from the base
Of this eternal hump
The Sissyfish not miffed so much as floundering

And like my car – resigned

One drive shaft broken
A Gear Box wrecked
I, musing how profoundly dull
And meaningful we make our lives
As Horton scooted up and down a cul de sac
Whilst waiting for the breakdown truck
To tow us back
Return to go, do not stop, do not grow, do not collect £200
It’s nowhere enough for a new drive shaft anyway
And then just to confound
Another of our issue, Ollie,
Decides his uni isn’t jolly
Quits his course
Reneges upon his CFT
Back to Bag Dad
A van yet not a vanguard hired

We should have bombed them first time round
Attacked by air and sea and ground
O’erwhelmed Mammon’s Praetorian guard
Hit them fast and hit them hard
Adhered to Cato’s bleak demand
‘Level Carthage to the ground’
And yet we toyed with coalition
The liberal promise of election
Formed a premise thus to build
The future hopes and dreams of children
In retrospect a feeble ruse
By self-deluded politicians
Whose money men have got us screwed

And as before the Sissyfish
Diverts us all with finny tales
And different vans
Which speak
Of tides of migrants
Some illegal, who in their hordes, assail our shores
Of Poles in Wales
So thus harpooned and cruelly beached
Distracted with our borders breeched
Our car was fixed but still it screeched
And rattled when we took a bend
To find we hadn’t reached an end
But just the bottom of the hill
The boulder grinning at us still
The myth of Sissyfish once more
Deriding us just as before

Once more miffed, we must decide
To roll again or here reside
To push the boulder up the hill
To watch it roll and ne’er be still

It is of little consequence
No means to make it all make sense
Life’s random scraps of crappiness
Could be a source of strife and woe
We fight or simply watch it flow
We choose to choose our happiness

We could reprise a thousand lives
Each with their various cross to bear
But nothing is not what it seems
To anyone who wasn’t there

The moral of the Sissyfish
Is not to flounder in rough seas
But push the boulder up the hill
Accepting that it’s often tough
To smile and grin and laugh enough
To do it any way we please
And not to make it meaningful
It’s just a life with which to tease
It’ simply what my kids call stuff
There’s no point living on our knees

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