Up before dawn;

Downstream as day breaks.

I’ll catch one today

Whatever it takes.

Oh no!

It’s rain.

Head for the car

I feel the pain.


A ray of sun.

Back in the water.

Lo, I hook one!

Small but lively.

I go by the book,

but as I reel him in

he slips the hook.

Fired up.

I snag a big one.

Strong, stubborn.

How he can run!

Takes yards of line.

So fast and strong.

I know he’s mine;

I can’t be wrong.

A monster trout?

Just a big branch.

I take the hook out.

When’s my next chance?

September 28, 2021

River Report

Day one:

Got a bite

but lost the fish.

Day two:

Mentally focused — 

What to do

When you get a hit?

Avoid panic 

when the sudden, thrilling

tug on the line comes.


Gear set up in advance;

Flies carefully chosen.

Out again:

Not a nibble;

No chance to 

break through.

Is it just dumb luck,

Or must I live with

not being good  

at something I love?

As the fog lifts,

The sunlight on the river

Warms your back

and plays on the water.

Isn’t that enough?

September 15, 2021


(Here’s a timely one by Alice Rydel)

Sick of the anniversary

But can’t stop watching TV

Where were you? Where was I?

Hugging Wanda.

Nine Eleven

Nurses called back to work

The hospital needs to prepare

I hear her screaming on the phone

And rush out to get her

“My daughter! My daughter!”

When I tell the story

My arms contort

Around her invisible body

Her head is on my shoulder 

We go back to the hospital

In the ER a stretcher holds a solid white statue

Then a dark hole opens

Gasping for air

Chairs ripped out of the auditorium

To make room for beds

Never filled

Waiting for news

About Wanda’s daughter

I hear cheering and laughter

But my colleague looks sick

“Her daughter left a voicemail.

Everyone cheered.

I couldn’t tell her the rest of the message.”

Still hugging Wanda