Poet, Journalist, Translator

Stephen Komarnyckyj


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I write about poetry, Ukraine and money laundering- why the hell not?

Something Fishy going on

By Steve Komarnyckyj, Aug 5 2014 10:04AM

I am writing a lot about Ukraine at the moment, but sometimes I like to reflect on the landscape of my childhood, the Penines and mill valleys. I grew up in a prefabricated, concrete, panel built house that was hastily thrown up in the late 1940s on the green hills above Huddersfield. You could see Castle Hill, the site of a former iron age fortress topped with a Victorian Gothic tower, from my window. There was a small recreation ground with swings, a see saw and a witch's hat roundabout on a strip of pink shale nearby. That period with the miner's strikes, the candle lit power cut evenings, the teenage "experimentation" with glue, the Capstan Full Strength, which made me throw up, the Woodpecker Cider... it all seems as remote as the iron age warriors who must have looked from the hill opposite my window when the romans came. Every so often something weird would happen like the time a friend of mine ran up to me with a carp in his

hand. He insisted that he had just found it, as if the pavements of Yorkshire were paved with ornamental fish.

The poem below was originally published in the North

Something Fishy

You ran up to me in the recreation ground,

A live carp in your hand,

Its eye

Held a perfectly executed cameo

Of grey Yorkshire sky,

Our two goggling faces

And the gable end of a council semi.

We put him in an old biscuit tin.

Whichever way he turned,

Fish swam

In the same direction

And always came face to face

With a reflection

Of a reflection…

It was a bit of a walk to the old mill pond.

Just for a second

He fell through the air,

A ribbon of fire

Twisting through summer,

A glass crown

On the water.

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