Roddy Williams



in the hospital 

the fish man told me secrets 

of life and catfish 


we watched malawis 

in a brief feeding battle 

while the catfish lazed 


nonchalant fin frond 

easing like giants through 

the desperate young crowd 


the catfish grow big 

from eating the malawi eggs 

and dead malawis 


malawis grow big 

and have to compete for food 

with their greedy babes 


eventually they starve 

the catfish perform their role 

deal with the remains 


that is how it is 

it’s a self contained system 

then he was silent 


we exchanged a look 

before turning back to glass 

watching the frenzy



Originally from North Wales, Roddy Williams lives and works in London. His poetry has appeared in Magma, The North, The Frogmore Paper, The Rialto, Envoi and most recently in the Great Weather for Media anthology  The Other Side of Violet. 

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