Archives for posts with tag: fishing

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Guaymas
by Catfish McDaris

The town was sleepy, my pockets
were light, I needed work of any
kind, a Yaqui man watched me, he
knew I spoke Spanish and approved

Of my silence, he invited me to beans
and tortillas, it tasted better than steak,
we walked to the beach, fishermen
sat with heavy poles and curved knives

They fished for red snapper or yellow
tail, but kept the blades handy in case
of a tuna dragging a man into a watery
death, it had happened a few times

There were long thin ribbon fish on the
beach, men were surf casting big chunks
of meat on treble hooks, one was soon
in a battle with a sand shark, when it

Was on the beach, it took five blows to
the head to kill it, the Yaqui said it was
for soup, we got jobs cleaning fish and
icing down shrimp, the water, sun, and

Cloud of blood over the Sea of Cortes
removed the January snow from inside
my weeping heart, a woman had made
me a prisoner and I was trying to escape.

PHOTO: Yaqui fishermen prepare for a long day of work at the height of shrimp season in Guaymas. Image by Dominic Bracco II. Mexico, 2012.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s working in a wig shop in a high crime area of Milwaukee. His newest book is Sleeping with the Fish (266 pages fo $13).

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Abstract Pipe Dreams.
by Sue A’Hern

No thoughts for health and safety, no rules applied;
apart from have fun with your bright orange and blue nets.
No one ever said, ugh or argh don’t fish off the sewage pipes.
The mighty Triumph or Norton parked on the barren ground,
between Swansea Baths and laundry;
often the sidecar roof removed so that I could stand up,
head and shoulders stuck out the top.
I wonder where the big blue bridge is now,
it isn’t where it used to be.
That’s the second blue bridge this week
that I can’t seem to find.

I can see him now squatting down, camera in hand;
brushing the sand off his light metre,
often using the B word in distress.
Saying “don’t tell your mother of anything I have let you do,”
in return I promised not to tell he swore.
I was the tomboy that held the Tilley lamp on the rocks at Worms Head,
whilst dawn broke and fish were caught.
Becoming proficient through his teaching of having a keen eye,
shooting rabbits for the pot.

So many childhood experiences given to me by my Dad;
the smell and magic of the attic room with its red light and blacked out     windows,
where photographs magically appeared on paper.
Pushing the bike out of the garage and down to the end of the street,
not to disturb the birds on eggs in his aviary.
Climbing down into the pit with its sawdust,
holding the light in just the right position while we fixed the bike;
For the briefest of time I became his assistant lapping up his knowledge,
a little girl behaving like the son he longed for.

Wherever you are now Dad,
I hope that you can see that your abstract pipe dreams live,
in the woman that is me.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: Me and my brother in the late 1960s, with our fishing nets and no concern for health and safety playing on an outlet pipe on Swansea beach. The photograph was taken by our father Jack A’Hern.

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Abstract Pipe Dreams” is a poetic reflection on being brought up in Swansea in the 1960s, back in the days when health and safety was not a common term. My father, Jack A’Hern, taught me many skills that back then were usually only passed onto boys. He taught me to ride a motorcycle and do basic mechanical maintenance on his Triumph and Norton, to fish and use a shotgun for shooting rabbits for the pot. Jack encouraged me to read poetry and pursue my interest in photography, both of which led to my chosen career path. Unfortunately he died before his dream of having an adult child that shared his interests came to fruition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sue A’Hern is a poet living in Swansea, Wales.

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BONDING
by John Grey

The old man and I sit at the diner counter
picking ashes out of the toast.

Where else would I be on a Saturday morning
but in the shadow of the Alpha fisherman
watching him gulp down coffee
while I sip through the thick tangy scent of orange juice.
Next time, I’ll insist on a cup of joe instead.

I hold myself up by the elbows
so as to feel so much older
while Sally the waitress
unbraids the early morning crew
with her usual salty sass
and Sam the cook shouts something to my father like
“save some of them big fat trout for me.”

I’m looking forward to damp grass, river bank,
and the slow curdle of brown water
around two taut catgut lines.

It’s a good deal for me.
There is a chance that, even at twelve years old,
I can haul in the bigger catch.
A hook is a hook
and a fish has no clue
who among us deserves most tribute.

Better this than suffering him
sinking baskets over my head
or busting my pride on the checkerboard.

The old man pays the bill
and we drive off in his truck.
I wonder how many more times
the two of us will be doing this.
It’s the start of a season – fishing season sure –
but with another, unspoken definition
going for it.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author as a schoolboy in 1963.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Grey is an Australian poet and U.S. resident. His poetry was recently published in New Plains Review, Mudfish, and Spindrift with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit, and Louisiana Literature.

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GREEN CREEK
by Wang Wei (Translated by Henry Hughes and Jin Lei)

To find the Yellow Flower River
One follows the waters of Green Creek
Through the mountains in ten-thousand turns.
But only a few miles, at most.
Sounds drown among the wild rocks,
And colors quiet within deep pines.
Water chestnuts bob lightly.
And reeds and rushes shine
In the clear, stilling waters.
My heart and the river are equally at peace.
Let me sit upon a large, flat rock
And drop my line and hook forever.

Photo: “Green Water Reflection, Blackstone River, Lincoln, Rhode Island” by Sheba53, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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GREEN CREEK
by Wang Wei (Translated by Henry Hughes and Jin Lei)

To find the Yellow Flower River
One follows the waters of Green Creek
Through the mountains in ten-thousand turns.
But only a few miles, at most.
Sounds drown among the wild rocks,
And colors quiet within deep pines.
Water chestnuts bob lightly.
And reeds and rushes shine
In the clear, stilling waters.
My heart and the river are equally at peace.
Let me sit upon a large, flat rock
And drop my line and hook forever.

Photo: “Green Water Reflection, Blackstone River, Lincoln, Rhode Island” by Sheba53, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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GREEN CREEK
by Wang Wei (Translated by Henry Hughes and Jin Lei)

To find the Yellow Flower River
One follows the waters of Green Creek
Through the mountains in ten-thousand turns.
But only a few miles, at most.
Sounds drown among the wild rocks,
And colors quiet within deep pines.
Water chestnuts bob lightly.
And reeds and rushes shine
In the clear, stilling waters.
My heart and the river are equally at peace.
Let me sit upon a large, flat rock
And drop my line and hook forever.

Photo: “Green Water Reflection, Blackstone River, Lincoln, Rhode Island” by Sheba53, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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SNOW RIVER
by Liu Zongyuan (Translated by Henry Hughes)

A thousand mountains without a bird
Ten thousand miles without seeing a soul
A boat and an old man in a straw raincoat,
alone, fishing in the icy river of melted snow.

Photo: Chris McLennan (detail), National Geographic photo of the day, 8/31/2010.

“Snow River” is found in The Art of Angling: Poems About Fishing, Edited by Henry Hughes. This beautiful — and highly recommended — book is available at Amazon.com.

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FOR ALL
Poem by Gary Snyder

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

Photo: “Moffat Lakes, Boulder, Colorado” by Tyler P. Porter, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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SNOW RIVER

by Liu Zongyuan (Translated by Henry Hughes)

A thousand mountains without a bird

Ten thousand miles without seeing a soul

A boat and an old man in a straw raincoat,

alone, fishing in the icy river of melted snow.

Photo: Chris McLennan (detail), National Geographic photo of the day, 8/31/2010.

“Snow River” is found in The Art of Angling: Poems About Fishing, Edited by Henry Hughes. This beautiful — and highly recommended — book is available at Amazon.com.

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GREEN CREEK

by Wang Wei (Translated by Henry Hughes and Jin Lei)

To find the Yellow Flower River

One follows the waters of Green Creek

Through the mountains in ten-thousand turns.

But only a few miles, at most.

Sounds drown among the wild rocks,

And colors quiet within deep pines.

Water chestnuts bob lightly.

And reeds and rushes shine

In the clear, stilling waters.

My heart and the river are equally at peace.

Let me sit upon a large, flat rock

And drop my line and hook forever.

Photo: “Green Water Reflection, Blackstone River, Lincoln, Rhode Island” by Sheba53, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED