This week’s poem, Mark Melnicove’s “Metaphorical Leaps,” plunges us into a salmon’s-eye view of what it means to be alive. I love how this poem’s rhythms and line breaks move forward with a river-like shape and rush, and how its imagery conjures a state of being drenched in pure, visceral awareness.

Melnicove taught English for many years at Falmouth High School. Now retired, he is working on a book about creative writing and education. He has also started a writing coach and tutoring business.

Poets, please note that submissions to Deep Water are open through the end of the year. Deep Water is especially eager to share poems by Black writers, writers of color, Indigenous writers, LGBTQ writers and other underrepresented voices. You’ll find a link to submit in the credits below.

Metaphorical Leaps
By Mark Melnicove

Like salmon we jumped over
the falls, surging

upstream, outmaneuvering
stones, keeping the watershed
intact, not needing
to measure

the flow or dam
passageways or dynamite
our ancient
birthplace to survive, becoming

fluid-borne, pushing
up through rapids, counterpoint

to the river urgently roiling
toward the sea, history,
not a line, time,

not a projection
of the present onto a wished
for past, flesh
like water, wholly

soused in consciousness.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Metaphorical Leaps,” copyright 2022 by Mark Melnicove, appears by permission of the author. Submissions to Deep Water are open now and through the end of the year. For more information, go to

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: