Poetry Dispatch No.166 | May 5, 2007
Gone Fishing with poet Gary Busha
This is Opening Day of fishing season in Wisconsin. North, south, east, west…the waters are filled with men and women, determined to make the connection, bring home the lunker to justify their time and skill upon the water, while contemplating (mostly in silence) all the age-old mysteries of what lies in wait beneath the floating world.
Wisconsin has a long history of skilled fisher-poets, ready to land one keeper of a fish (or poem) in one perfect cast.
Gary Busha is among the best them. Here are two catches from his most recent book, LINES ON LAKE WINNEBAGO (March River Edition), 2002. Norbert Blei
Portrait of Dock Fishing
Old men with big yellow bellies
remember themselves as lean river boys
fishing together from the docks.
Cane poles reach out like quills
in black water inkwells,
nuts used for sinkers,
bent pins for hooks.
drift in ripples
while bullheads stir to the dance,
the sensuous tangle of worms.
Thoughts on Fishing
While mouthing words
that ricochet from plate
to plate, I do not think
of the working of my pancreas,
although I should.
A russet sunset remains
and lingers with the smell of seaweed,
I’ve not accomplished much,
but have made the best of a dull night,
and now it’s morning and the mist
is rising as I row with hardly a thought