Elegy For A Bait Fisherman, Fallen

We've lost the accommodating grin
Of a summer morning, the soft, derisive jeers
For we Anglers, our flies and our waders
With shoes wet with the morning dew
And a worm box, of all the bloody things,
you out-fished us, taught us simply, with
the silence of your dark, knowing eyes cast
Over the glasses on the tip of your nose

These streamlets you've summoned
From inside us, salty tributaries to
Your footprints by the riverbank, filled, and
Overflowing with the water from our eyes
We watch the river rise perceptively, see
The mouths of the autumn salmon widen
Tasting the ocean on their tongues

Now our gear lies still in the grass, we
Listen to the moving water and wonder
What hook, what silver line you used
What took that unknown bait
What great fish crested the surface
Rose so high and fell so low
Caught your eye, that day, and
Made you not let go
Monday, April 9, 2018
Topic(s) of this poem: death
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COMMENTS
John Beaton 03 September 2018
Excellent poem, Gordon. As a life long fly-fisher, I can really identify with this. Great handling of the tears metaphor, and I particularly like the autumn salmon tasting salt. The final stanza, which suggests the bait fisherman died because he fished so well the fish that took dragged him under, is a fine way to remember such a fellow. And the fist stanza has a nice touch of fly-fisher snobbery (With... a worm box of all things, you out-fished us) . A fine poem.
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Gordon R Menzies 03 September 2018
Thanks for the kind words, John. Fishermen are a unique breed...both bait and fly, and this was written for an Old Master of the former who passed on. Fishing is so spiritual, it's a theme I often return to... I'm pleased you enjoyed this, and thanks again for taking the time to comment.
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