Crossing Galata, Istanbul

Flying fish

on Galata Bridge,

rods bowing and bobbing

like suppliants at a vizier’s audience.

Each fisher has his own space program,

launch pad,

elbow room, bait bucket,

like this sleeve-tugging city. I’m

for the fish, somehow. Down there

there’s piscine stitching of continents: Europe – Asia,

ferries and fish restaurants. Crossing

their sunshine

I pass between poles

of then and now,

a fish caught

in a rip of time, the zip of bait, the

howl of hook in mouth, it flips me

onto this bridge and off, too scrappy a catch,

victim of cheap jet fuel and wanderlust.



Image: Fly fishing tackle box next to stream / Chesapeake Bay Program


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John Upton

John Upton was well known for his writing of poetry, plays and TV dramas. His poetry includes the collection Embracing the Razor (Puncher & Wattmann). He had five stage plays produced, and his prizes include the Australian Writers Guild’s award for Best New Play. He died in early 2017.

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