Bill Munn (Sept 4,1938 / Hartford, Connecticut)
Fly Fishing for Sanity
Yellow-bright, sun draws leaved patterns on canvas,
ending dreams of creels full of shining speckled beauties,
Woodsmoke, smelling of boiled coffee, drifts in ethereal patterns
telling me that Paul has already begun our breakfast.
Coffee with day-old doughnuts
Quickly we collect our gear and clamber carefully down dewdamp banks.
Slanting sunlight begins to warm our shoulders and we take care
to dropp no shadow on the water to warn of our approach.
The brook burbles and rills 'round rocks and through the shallows,
long shadows of Walnuts, oaks and doomed butternut trees
Couching we peek silently over edge to see dark shadows
and silver flashes of sleek bodies suspended or sliding through
copper-clear depths of water pooled behind a tree-trunk dam
where mirrored surface breaks with silver flash of feeding fish.
Tackle boxes hold our hopes clipped to our waists
We search among bits of yarn and feathers with
names like Black Gnat, Blue Dunn, or Bitch Creek Nymph,
looking for a lures that looks so like the hatch that wily trout
cannot refrain from catching them and so in turn be caught.
We tie hooked temptations to tapered ends of transparent leaders.
Sun begins to break over the trees and warms away the early chill.
The lightest of breezes whispers, rearranging leaves in shifting patterns of green.
The sounds of brook and birdsongs break the morning stillness.
Rushing water, gurgles icy 'round waders and current tugs and tries to pull us over.
Fly line swishes overhead and lures land lightly where intuition tells us lunkers lie.
Too soon the rise is ended. Feeding ripples no longer break the pool's reflections,
and speckled bodies are only passing shadows seeking shade of undercuts
and overhanging trees. We pack our gear and head to camp, content with
creels lined with sleek bodies ··· or holding only drying leaves ···
It really does not matter!
because for one tiny bit of time
war and politics and
headlines filled with news of
man's inhumanity to man
were just a mummer,
a babbling undercurrent
that could be submerged
in shadowed pools
and flashing bodies.
And for that moment
we lived in peace
and proper awe
of all God's gifts.
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