Fish vases

October 26, 2012


Yesterday I assembled my collection of vases in the shape of fish for a university student to take their photograph. (This is not one of her photographs, which will be good. This is one of my snaps on an allegedly smart phone.) I was included, and dressed in suitable 1950s clothes, although 1950s with, I hope, the weird dyed hair of satire.

Who thought of the idea of vases in the shape of fish? Piscine floristry is a very strange idea indeed. Fish love water, but to leap from this to the idea of jamming roses into a marlin like a new form of bait…

I have written a poem about fish vases, which goes by the imaginative name of ‘Fish vases’:

What mind first thought of a vase
(china, hard, self-contained)
leaping with a gaping mouth
so eager for flower-bait?
Yes, there is water inside,
and fish silver ponds, rivers,
seas. But to make a billabong
of a cod; make marlin smell roses?
Odd is the first word that skims
like a flying fish, bites like barracuda,
in my bemused mind. Weird rises too,
flashy trout to drowning butterfly,
hooked on well cast cunning.
I place violets in the minnows,
arrange long stems in strange,
bright glazed, kettles of fish.

P.S. Cottier

4 Responses to “Fish vases”

  1. Tonight your flowers sleep with the fishes. Though the excessive eagerness, the too-wide open-mouthedness, of those fishy vases might give me nightmares, were I a cut or picked flower. Lovely, fishy poem!

  2. pscottier said

    There is something about them that reminds me of those freaky hard-faced mechanical clowns at fairs or shows where you have to drop a ball at the right time to win a stuffed toy prize. Shudder at that always open mouth! We like eagerness hidden, I think, rather than too explicit. One could chase these ideas into the fraught bedlam of gender, but let’s not get too analytical on a Friday night. I intend to drink like a camel-fish vase unfilled by either water or rose or idea.

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