The Paignton fishermen pause on the long reach of the harbour wall,
Eyes in meditation, brains in slow motion,
Testing the waters with minds held on a point,
Bobbing fluorescent in the depths of dreams –
A silver flash of light wakes them,
The cruel truth of fish caught
(Not to eat, but for another purpose),
Flapping their lives out in carrier bags
Whilst the faces turn away,
Pretending not to see,
Pretending not to hear,
Pretending not to feel.
Some will be sold,
A few eaten,
Many discarded in bins.
Meditation has its price, see,
But there’s meant to be compassion.
Fishermen are really meditators, staring at water and a single point. But they avoid the truth of having to kill by slipping their catch silently into opaque plastic bags and avoiding each other’s eyes.