Waiting for Parenthood

being prepared is helpful
nesting is essential
imagine and dream and plan

choosing meaningful names
how does that look on a CV?
what will the fans chant?

and the questions
from family and co-workers
strangers and friends

no, he is not here yet
yes, we are excited
yes, it is amazing

mostly, it is surreal

just like a hug where your hands don’t quite touch
our heads can’t quite reach around you
not yet anyway

so we wait
nod to the “it changes everything’s”
politely accept the “next time I see you’s…”

and patiently sleep off a one last Friday night
forgetting the noise
dreaming of you and only you

waiting to be parents
whatever that means

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Wild Places

Wild places live few and far between.

You, no doubt, traveling on iron wheels and wings

can find one tomorrow before the sun touches the trees.

Praise accessibility.

Curse it’s ease.

Search the dark spaces for glowing eyes.

Wash your forehead in icy falls and streams.

Get lost in stars not yet silenced by your home street,

And let the trees grow wild.

Let the waters run cool and clean.

Admire the beast that live in wild places,

For beast we too can be.

————–

If I had done an entry for the Outdoor Blogger Network’s Trout Unlimited summer essay contest for a trip to Tongass National Forest, it would have gone something like that.

Thirsty

Deep in my chest a thirst grows for more days spent fly fishing.
I crave the streams and rivers home to the trout I love.
I long for snowy banks with kinetic waters keeping ice at bay.
Small tumbling brooks with pockets to be picked along the Eastern Mountain Range.
Hot Southern days on shady streams of the South.
Luscious limestone beds home to fat, rusting Driftless trout.
Wind swept, grassy plains where hoppers fall and beatis dance.
Rocky Mountain territory above and below the tree line where great writers hone their craft.
And all the waters I’ve read about feeling jealous of their bounty.
I long to be close to all the trout across this great country.

Good Fortune

Weather can surprise. Sun can shine.
Friends can call. Plans materialize.
Work postponed. Play prioritized.
Sandwiches and sardines. Celery sticks and seltzer.
Picnic on a boat with a motor that won’t turn.
Anchored to a spot often overlooked.
Poorly tied flies and good fortune.
Eager fish to sun burnt hands,
cheeks,
and smiling eyes.

My catch of the day. What? Oysters are alive.
Action shot.

Look at all those spots.

Humidity

Stepping outside is like walking into a bowl of warm honey. Sweet as the magnolias, thick and heavy. Instantly covered in sweat, you wish you had joined that nudist colony you once read about in a David Sedaris story. But the nudists are just as frustrated as you are, and they have no clothes left to shed. Even the fish sweat on a day like today.

Where normally you could draw a ruler across the skyline, it now grows billowing mountains in a game of red light/green light. “I think those clouds will miss us,” you try to convince yourself. Dark and impending, they are as heavy as the humidity.

First, the wind is a hot breath, blowing casually from the thunderheads, but as the shades of gray exchange for sickly greens the wind’s direction switches and the temperature drops. It is sudden and violent, the way the thunderstrom forces its way through the ctiy and beach.

When it passes, there is a breif sigh of relief as the cool breeze has swept the stagnant, humid air away. Only when you start to survey the tree damage and flooding drains do you notice the thick, hot, sweet smelling air settling back on your skin.

This is the Chesapeake Bay in late June. You didn’t expect the humidty to be gone for good, did you?

Write Your Fly Off, Tenkara.

And that’s what I did. I wrote my fly off and it paid in full. Karel over at Tenkara on the Fly held a writing contest a while back and I got a nice package in the mail last week for my efforts. No doubt about it, even as a “simplistic tenkara angler,” I’m a gear head. What can I say? I like new toys.

Up until now, I’ve been just winding my line around my hand or arm (like winding up a garden hose) when I walk from spot to spot. The spool will be great for longer-term storage and transport.

11ft horse-hair line, line holders, stickers,
and 6 awesome flies.
Tied by none other than Karel, of course.
A hand or arm works for quick walks, for long storage,
the spool (ie. reel 🙂 is very nice. 
Ohhhh, mama. These look delicious.

This is my entry for the contest:

What is it about those streams and creeks,
Running down mountain valleys
Winding their way through high plains
And Midwestern pastures
That keeps me up late tying, planning
Reading and dreaming?
It is the fish, the hunt,
Stalking the quiet.
Always looking,
Searching for more ways to be closer to water,
To fish painted unlike any other.
At times it takes a slow mind to study the behavior
Of fish and river.
The next day it is a mad rush to conquer the terrain
And unearth the dominant invertebrates
That are the keystone to a heavy creel.
Concentrating, I know what ails me,
I yearn to be closer to the ground.
I want cologne of wet dirt and
Sweet rotting leaves,
Fresh like spring water
And changing-weather breezes.
So I strip down.
Simplify.
Rod.
Line.
Fly.
Fewer moving parts mean fewer
Distractions from the surroundings.
With this strange, new rod in hand
I feel giddy.
Every headshake and body thrust
Of the fish sends shock waves down my arm.
Connected to the fight like never before,
I giggle.
Now I am silver and ruby,
Rust and olive,
Forest green spotted blue, red and yellow.
I am my nephew on a dock screaming with laughter
At the sunfish bending his Lightening McQueen rod.
Today, I am closer to the water.
Closer to trout.
Closer to char.
Because of tenkara,
I am closer.
That is all I ever want to be.

You can read all of the awesome entries at Karel’s “Your Tenkara Stories” page.