SALMON DANCERS, day 3 of A Month with Yeats


Jane Dougherty’s 3rd poetry challenge based on a quote from WB Yeats is as follows: “With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,”—W.B. Yeats. Follow Jane and her inspiring poetry at her blog, link below, where you can also see a photograph from Paul Militaru which influenced today’s poem:

My poem today is entitled SALMON DANCERS


And so swim the salmon, against

the rising stream, foam flushing

against fins as falcons fly overhead

in the fight for freedom, destiny

is not a dance that can long

be distracted, shiny specks of silver

dancing, darting, borne to beat back,

to wage against the rushing waters

as they make their way west. And so

swim the salmon, along the corroded

current of Connacht, that Atlantic

sojourn, that shore still swaying

in the shadow of those ancient songs

when souls set off in search of security

overseas, burdened boats battened

down with the beaten and the broken,

culled like cattle in the rain, boats

with bodhrans and fiddlers, singing

and dying through their dreams

of a new world, already mourning

the old lands, the homelands

they’d been swept from, kept from.

And so swim the salmon

as the storms rage, as they battle

onwards, salmon dancers, skating

on the waters, leaving trickles like stones

once tossed by hands now lost, tracks

to follow for others who’ll follow,

as others have followed, as others

who’ve fallen, their faces now faded.

And so swim the shining salmon,

off into the world with the sound

of home in every stroke.


All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Picture from the internet of the Salmon of Knowledge.

Published by deuxiemepeau

Published poet, writer, baker and former fashion maker, with footprints in Paris, London and Amsterdam but currently back home in Dublin with sights aimed at leaving a mark on the West coast one clear fine day...

13 thoughts on “SALMON DANCERS, day 3 of A Month with Yeats

  1. Oh, splendid! We’ll have a hare, a salmon, a white hind, a red-eared hound and a handful of rowan berries before this challenge is over, I can see that 🙂

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