New Legend, Old Story


Salmon was stuck

Behind Beaver’s dam.

Sea Lions were eating

Her sisters and brothers

So, Salmon decided

To walk around the dam.

This was risky, because

Salmon had no legs and

Couldn’t breathe outside water.

Salmon asked Man for help.

Man agreed and scooped

Up Salmon in nets,

Promising to take her

Beyond Beaver’s dam.

But, Man liked Salmon too much

Breaking the promise,

Keeping Salmon for himself.

While Man fished for Salmon

Beaver kept building

His dam, bigger and bigger.

So big, that River started

To worry… and like Salmon

Decided to go around the dam

With no legs and lungs,

Ruining Man’s corn and wheat.

Man became mad at River

Bringing in the army corps of profiteers

Who built dikes and false banks

Alongside River’s shoulders

Causing River to ask Rain and Wind

For help

Flooding Man’s lodge,

Freeing Salmon.

Upon returning home

Salmon didn’t recognize her

Sisters and brothers…and

Today, this very moment,

Who is the twin of Tomorrow,

She swims alone

Until River and Man

Agree together…

Take her beyond Beaver’s dam

Where Mountains

Have been waiting


23 Comments on “New Legend, Old Story

  1. That was really impressive. I am not a poetry fan but I will be back to read more. That was really amazing. So visual and spot on. Wow.


  2. Ah I see – it’s a while since I saw the documentary (while living in KY). The interesting thing about that film was that it pointed out from my point of view was that all the work done by govt agencies to hatch and nurture salmon for release in the rivers really only helps the salmon canneries, that the taxpayers are supporting that industry rather than really helping the salmon. Interesting things came to light about the way the fingerlings need to travel in the first weeks and so on – I could go on, but I won’t. Happy New Year Elan, you are a good person.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Snake River has some dams on it that could come down. But, most of the dams that have been removed are older dams on smaller rivers, such as the Elwha and White Salmon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not naive. I know that the Columbia River dams will not come down. They are vital parts of the grid. However, I feel that as part of this planet, we sometimes don’t think things through before we act.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I took the plight of the salmon to heart when I took a river cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. I’ve been rooting for every small step forward on their behalf. Wonderful poetry.


  6. Very nice poem once again Elan. Is`nt it amazing (probably not the best word to use) the struggle between humankind and nature to exist together. There is no doubt that we need to respect nature. You only need to look at recent storms around the world to show the devastation she can cause. If we learn to respect her that would be a good start.


  7. If man could be as honest as Salmon and busy as Beaver how wonderful the world would be, but man will ever be wanting to change everything but himself, so Salmon will always face struggle with River in order to reach those mountains we all look for.

    Liked by 2 people

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