Fish Nests


Little fish, in the shallows,
where the sun turns
the soil to gold,
your round nest
blooms next to others,
forming a pattern
like dandelions on a lawn.

Were you a bird in
your last life, living
in a round nest,
a house of sticks?

Can you hear the
beating hearts
within your tiny eggs?

Do you fear the dark
depths where the large
fish hide from hooks?

Little fish, in the shallows,
where the water
is like a window
into your life,
your shadow touches bottom,
but you float to the top,
watching me
as I watch you.
What do you wonder?

Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: A costumed cart driver at Old Sturbridge Village introduced us to her cart horses, Jim and Jerry, and pointed out these circles in the pond. She said they are fish nests. I had never heard of fish nests. I couldn’t find much about them on the internet, and none about fish nests in New England ponds. I only knew that they were beautiful in the sun.


36 thoughts on “Fish Nests

  1. Pingback: Fish Nests – SEO
  2. It was very sweet to share this with us, so glad the cart driver let you know. The reflection of the reeds upon the water and the colors shimmering in the sun made it almost like a different type of Monet art piece, your photo is beautiful, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d never heard of fish nests either, but I’ve just shown the photo to my husband (who’s a country lad and generally knows about these things) and he reckons they are. The photo is lovely and your poem about is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Millie. I’m glad your husband confirmed it. Old Sturbridge Village is an educational open-air museum, so I thought it was safe to trust the wisdom of the docent. She seemed very sure. I had never heard of them, but I always love learning new things.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, we all enjoyed it. It’s the largest in the country. It has three mills and simple machines on display, as well as quilting, dairy processes, historical religion, spinning wool, cannon firing, and agriculture. So many things my kids know nothing about. Me, too. Butter can be stored for months in brine? Who knew… Best, Brenda


  4. Brilliant, dear Brenda!… I love the idea of the fish being a bird in a past life and the metaphors you´ve used to describe it. Surface-deep: a good counterpoint which might reflect not only in the water… But maybe somewhere beyond (in yet another life?). Beautiful poem! have a great weekend 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Comments welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.