“Something Fishy” by Michael Dylan Welch, C.R. Manley & Tanya McDonald

Michael Dylan Welch, C.R. Manley & Tanya McDonald


a rengay written on a Washington State Ferry

salmon time—
the path to the creek
free of cobwebs
he warns us again—
don’t eat the pufferfish
field trip—
the cold stare
of the passing shark
the guppy circling
down the toilet
motionless angelfish—
still waiting
for my order
one fish, two fish
I switch off her bedside lamp

from Rattle #83, Spring 2024
Tribute to Collaboration


Michael Dylan Welch, C.R. Manley, & Tanya McDonald: “‘Something Fishy’ is a rengay we wrote mostly on the ferry between Edmonds and Kingston, Washington. Fish seemed like a natural theme to write about while we crossed the Puget Sound. Michael wrote the first rengay with Garry Gay, its inventor, in 1992, and has been promoting the form ever since, with essays and my website. Renku always links and shifts between the verses as it seeks to taste all of life, but rengay deliberately focuses on a single theme, which we had fun exploring in various fishy nuances.”

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