The Catch

For you, the catch wasn't something caught:
not word or contender, attention or fire.
Not the almost-missed train, or the sort
of wave surfers might wait an entire
lifetime for. Not the promise that leaves
the old man adrift for days, his boat
creaking, miles offshore. Nor what cleaves
the heart in two, that left your throat
parched and mute for taking pill
after yellow-green pill, the black-blue
taste the price you paid to kill
the two-parts sadness to one-part anger.
No. The catch was what you could never
let go. It's what you carried, and still do.

poem by Ben Wilkinson

from For Real (Smith|Doorstop Books, 2014)


Poetry Pleases! said...

Dear Ben

Great poem! I can see that you're a painstaking craftsman and wordsmith.

Best wishes from Simon R. Gladdish

Ben Wilkinson said...

Thanks Simon.

I've always placed high value on craft, so I'm glad that it shows. Imagination, novelty, passion, vision, freshness - all these things are hugely important of course, but as far as I'm concerned, without technique you've got nothing.

What was it Michael Longley once said? If most people who call themselves poets were tightrope-walkers they'd be dead? Very true, that!

my very best, B

Si Philbrook said...

This was the first poem my friend read when I gave him your book in hospital. It struck a chord straight away.

I am a lover of sonnets, and yours are so well crafted. I am really looking forward to the football ones coming out. Football and sonnets....I'm in heaven..lol.

Oh and I love the tightrope-walker quote, must share that.