Saturday, June 28, 2014

"Loons Mating" by David Wagoner


Their necks and their dark heads lifted into a dawn
Blurred smooth by mist, the loons
Beside each other are swimming slowly
In charmed circles, their bodies stretched under water
Through ripples quivering and sweeping apart
The gray sky now held close by the lake's mercurial threshold
Whose face and underface they share
In wheeling and diving tandem, rising together
To swell their breasts like swans, to go breasting forward
With beaks turned down and in, near shore,
Out of sight behind a windbreak of birch and alder,
And now the haunted uprisen wailing call,
And again, and now the beautiful sane laughter.

"Loons Mating" by David Wagoner from Traveling Light: Collected and New Poems.
© University of Illinois Press.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Trout Lake Report: Whither the Drakes?

On a warm early evening you kick out into the channel...


...and begin the long voyage down the main Drake shoreline. The last time you were at the lake you found few Drakes on the other side. You want to look here. Is the hatch over?


You have on a big, bright muddler variation. You put it into every fishy opening along the bank that you can find, like a key in a lock.


Sometimes the lock opens to reveal a shining treasure.


A Drake flies by. Just one. It's several minutes before you see another. A Yellow warbler's darting flights reveal where several are popping from the water in a slow rhythm. You tie on the Drake fly, and trout dart at it too, and are caught.


You reach the far end and turn and begin to work your way back.


Fish are working, but it seems that they're taking something other than Drakes now. Your fly is ignored.


You stick with it awhile, but then return to the bright muddler variation. That gets some attention.


The Drake hatch is not over, but you are forced to conclude that you have seen the beginning of the end.


The pages turn, and a new chapter begins. Time to tie up some Damsels, and a fresh batch of muddlers for some new shorelines.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Night" by Louise Bogan

Bioluminescence, Vaadhoo Island, The Maldives

The cold remote islands
And the blue estuaries
Where what breathes, breathes
The restless wind of the inlets,
And what drinks, drinks
The incoming tide;

Where shell and weed
Wait upon the salt wash of the sea,
And the clear nights of stars
Swing their lights westward
To set behind the land;

Where the pulse clinging to the rocks
Renews itself forever;
Where, again on cloudless nights,
The water reflects
The firmament's partial setting;

--O remember
In your narrowing dark hours
That more things move
Than blood in the heart.

"Night" by Louise Bogan from The Blue Estuaries.
© Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1968.