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Posts Tagged ‘fish’

At the Pond

At the pond with Gramps I
did not know what I was
becoming, I thought it would
be like that forever, that I
could always catch bullfrogs
and fire-bellied newts with
my small hands, Gramps
guiding me over my shoulder.

Years later the pond changed,
I caught catfish and large-
mouth bass, my fishing line
that connected me to the web
of every living thing, to the pond
Gramps fished on his childhood
farm, Gramps confined to a chair
I could still march up the hill and
tell him the days fishing stories,
I thought it would be like that forever.

That I crossed that pond in every
way; in a small rowboat that leaked,
by foot around its edges, by a
young brave swim, in my mind,
was proof of it all, of
early earth when life began to
more developed creatures to
a place, a pond teeming with
all that makes life pleasant.

In his eyes I from boy to young man,
some potential he saw in youth,
in my eyes Gramps from old to older,
strong to frail, life to wisdom to rest.

To know Gramps gave time as
if he were the pond, as if he had
an infinite mound of sand in some
hidden room somewhere that he
could fill up the hour glass with,
fill up the pond with creatures to
fish for after he had gone, fill up
my head with infinite cherished
gifts, birds and frogs and snakes and fish.

 

Kyle McHale        2014

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Fishing on the Bushkill

When all that meant everything
Was a fire burning deep at night,
With friends to share life’s comic air,
The moon above to steal sight.

That was right, that was right, a time
And place suspended still somewhere.
A vault, untouched, unnamed, floating
Above those who wish they could stare.

Protected there my father lives
At that scout camp Resica Falls.
In his teens and full of living,
Hearing that Pennsylvania call.

One summer out there out posting
Past the main camp to staff Fawn Run,
My young father was on the edge,
A place where deep thoughts had begun.

He had time in those woods alone,
And ran his post when campers showed,
He’d often talk of Bushkill Creek,
Of its bronze color and how it flowed.

He’d make a fire, grab his rod,
At evening time he’d fish the creek,
Time spent in that flowing sweetness,
Relying on brown trout to eat.

Like a bear that is so content
To fish and eat and sleep so well,
Under stars from heavens glow,
The years to come no one could tell.

What thoughts my father had before,
Standing there on Bushkill’s shore,
Before he lost love and fought a war,
When life was moments, nothing more?

Did he know what the future held,
Or simply watched the river flow?
Was Vietnam even a thought?
Into that jungle he would go.

Did he know he’d be scoutmaster?
His sons to be and that boy the same,
All destined to be Eagle Scouts,
I knew the man that boy became.

Navigating rivers and life,
In that protected vault of then,
Trout, Brotherhood, Spirit, being
Among the links of boys to men.

Deep in the woods where wild calls,
Links that are not seen, are not heard,
Father’s gone but the Bushkill flows,
He has become that secret word.

Some of his ashes flow there now,
To keep the Bushkill’s spirit safe,
To guard by way of bird and fish,
To strengthen love and heighten faith.

What thoughts my father had before,
Standing there on Bushkill’s shore,
Before he lost love and fought a war,
When life was moments, nothing more?

Kyle McHale      2011

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Ticking Travel

Venture to a most peaceful spot,
In city, or woods, or vast plains,
A spot to slow the inner clock,
To slow the beating of the brain.

Stop the flooding head of much,
Too much to bear, feel, and see,
All little clocks with ticking parts,
All tiny thoughts that visit me.

Nothing can work all at once,
The world with its timing,
All little greased up ticking parts,
All long roads with their winding.

That dry desert road once had all
The dreams I always tried to chase.
To get there and find them full of
Dry land, filth, and dusty waste

Let my vision pass itself
To see the green road up ahead,
Led to a rotting jungles end,
A jungle with its spirit dead.

Each road of ice, fire, and rain,
Had an end of freeze, burn, and flood,
At expense just one ticking part,
One part brain, one part drop of blood.

For blood the grease that works the ticks,
Which vision knows to change with it,
Where I let the stars and the moon
Consume my thoughts for a little bit

You may have just heard the water.
For I saw a streaking vast sky,
A place too large for all my blood,
You may have seen a fish swim by

To stare at you, to read your thoughts,
To understand the driving force,
Because complete had time to wait
To think about the one true source.

All perceptions to contemplate,
Though one part lost in each pure spot,
A piece gained from water and rock,
From thick jungle air steaming hot.

Once pulse slows down to learn something
And experience is gained,
The ticking body falls apart,
All blood bleeds out with pouring rain,

Yet peace may have flocked to the heart,
All peaceful spots become the same.
To see, to live, to think, to do,
To bleed, to die, to know what’s tame,

To feel the parts left out there,
To know they are filled by those places,
Blood has mountain jungle in it,
Peaceful things fill up those spaces.

To remember, cherish, and save,
To smile on earth, and in grave.

Kyle McHale      2009

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I Wish

My heart does weigh heavy on this sulky, dreary day.
It weighs and counter weighs beats and skips a few.
The evil. The good.
It becomes so much for a man who attempts to stay true.
I walk down streets from a small fishing town;
the town hides from a storm.
So empty, feelings lost.
But there is an energy waiting somewhere,
like a bomb about to blow.
Color is mostly gone in this place;
it has been turned into fear and energy.
It is more than the calm before the storm though,
it is so far past panic that everything and everyone
are frozen like the fish they catch that are about to die.
But in each house a small fiery orange glow does shine;
it is faint enough to keep strangers away,
strong enough to hold families together.
It feels like old colonial hopes, grey, small, orange.
The streets are open but welcome no one.
Maybe a wave will wash me away from this place.
I, fearing more than most, know that I should not be here.
Come storm, come take me away, freeze me like a fish,
I wish,
I wish.

Kyle McHale      2004

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