Monthly Archives: August 2011

JUDGING DISTANCE

Ten foot kayak in eight feet of water.
Settled into the glass between a field
of lily pads and a line of flooded pine stumps—
trees that were a century old when the river
called them home a century ago, their twisted roots
unsettling sculptures patrolled
by fat bass and three foot pike.
What light there is comes from a waning half moon
ducking in and out of slow clouds.
My pipe smoke drifts in minor imitation.

A light is visible a quarter mile down river
beyond The Narrows. A dull illumination moving
like approaching headlights from the far side of a hill.
Closer. Closer until a beam rounds the point,
a boat spotlighting its way back from Cranberry Lake,
the erratic left right left swing seeking
submerged stumps and Adirondack boulders
just beyond the red and green channel markers,
leviathans in their eternal wait, scarred
with the silver orange white blue yellow of the errant.

Between small windows of moonlight, I’ve been casting
blind. My line, fly, the water, lily pads, stumps, shoreline
swallowed whole. Forty feet of line off my reel waiting
on the surface next to me. False casts paying out enough
until the right weight registers with my fingertips
and my rod hand, slight whistle-swish of the rod and line
as it unrolls in its flight, the fly landing noisily somewhere
in front of me. Impatience is the only obstruction in the dark.
There’s no rush, only the blind eternity of weight and timing.
In the now rising fog, the boat leaves the channel for it’s dock.

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Filed under On the water, Poetry

ALIVE ON ARRIVAL

this road begs a truck and a full tank of gas   windows down   tire-tread serenade   humidity and cool 4 a.m. headlights   bugs on the windshield   life unfolding on long-haul canvas   whitetails from low rolling fog   this all-night mind   this morning is water   truck packed for one or the other   the first spill of purple orange purple   a truck and full tank of gas begs for nothing   when the sun comes up it’ll only be up for so long   fish rising in their own universe   the stars hold what they’ve got   I close my eyes and see a barn and woods   wing-set geese   a river or lake painted into the distant hills   I open them and see fields and a single cow meandering to its day   this morning is woods   I push on

the first spill of purple orange purple   whitetails from low rolling fog   I close my eyes and see a barn and woods   this road begs a truck and a full tank of gas   this morning is water   a river or lake painted into the distant hills   bugs on the windshield   wing-set geese   I open them and see fields and a single cow meandering to its day   life unfolding on long-haul canvas   when the sun comes up it’ll only be up for so long   a truck and full tank of gas begs for nothing   fish rising in their own universe   this morning is woods   humidity and cool 4 a.m. headlights   tire-tread serenade   truck packed for one or the other   the stars hold what they’ve got   windows down   this all-night mind   I push on

I close my eyes and see a barn and woods   I open them and see fields and a single cow meandering to its day   a river or lake painted into the distant hills   the first spill of purple orange purple   wing-set geese   when the sun comes up it’ll only be up for so long   this morning is water   fish rising in their own universe   this morning is woods   whitetails from low rolling fog   truck packed for one or the other   the stars hold what they’ve got   humidity and cool 4 a.m. headlights   windows down   bugs on the windshield   tire-tread serenade   this road begs a truck and a full tank of gas   a truck and full tank of gas begs for nothing   life unfolding on long-haul canvas   I push on

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Filed under Poetry, The road