Fish and Fowl

After Bruce Goold’s Flying Fish, 1994Manly Art Gallery


You choose the same meeting place
over and over and I wonder

what prompts you to become a regular.
Is it the view? It doesn’t take much
imagination to see the choppy waves

below as an alpine rendezvous
but you’ll have to show initiative

if you want our love to live.
Granted, you are a handsome brute
with beautiful bulging eyes

and a body, sleek as a torpedo.
Variety spices my life

but a cool palette, somewhat pallid
apart from dashes of red, is scary
considering thoughts of bloodshed.

We’re open to attack from below
and above. I don’t want to end up

on someone’s dinner plate, and no matter
how clever your aerial manoeuvres
one day you could leave me up in the air.

Jan Dean


Jan Dean’s writing credits include Meanjin, Southerly, Newcastle Poetry Prize anthologies and The Australian newspaper. Her pocketbook Paint Peels, Graffiti Sings (Flying Islands 2014) is in English and Mandarin, and With One Brush (IP 2007) was short-listed for the Mary Gilmore Award. Formerly she taught visual arts.

© 2017