gary busha | gone fishing with…

3 12 2007


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.
Wooden bobbers
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,
fresh, broken.

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
but fishing.




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