Before spring came, in late February
to the blooming and jolly hills
I ran, breathing heavily and frantically,
touching the perfumed blossoms
of a solitary, old cherry tree;
and underneath it I sat writing poetry
that hadn't a perfect rhyme and beat!
Weren't my skills marred by imperfections?
Canaries and red-breasted robins
flew down and rested on my outstretched legs;
perusing my lines to spot their names,
and when they did, they flapped their wings in gladness!
I could have imagined their joyful words,.
if only they had acquired the gift of speech,
and deeper in their thoughts I would have reached:
to dispel the myth that they had no feelings...
After my short poem was completed,
I reached for my harmonica to play my favorite classic tune;
and being surprised by the paleness of the fading moon,
I dedicated that happy melody to her not to let her despair:
by waving my hand to make her farewell less sad, while I whispered,
" Silent moon, eternal companion of every poet,
what's beyond the realm of this universe?...
Tell us more of those invisible suns and planets! "
Before spring came to the dormant valley,
the mountains' peaks allowed the sun to melt their snows,
to create gushing torrents to feed its water to the dry and cracked soil,
which needed rain instead of harmful frost;
and I drank the freshest water and washed my sweaty face,
while fighting off the bees' stubborn rivalry!
That spring has come again to dress herself with incredible splendor,
and this discontent and wishful heart desires nothing more than being there!
My theme is: Happiness In Childhood
Submitted to the "Gone Fishin" contest
Trollin’ the islands at Texoma,
It was April, 1964.
New rod and reel in hand,
I’d NEVER been fishing before.
A Garcia 2510T casting rod.
The reel, a Mitchell 301,
Plus hand-selected worms and lures…
I was ready to have some fun.
My teacher, a master fisherman,
Had fished all over the earth...
From trout in Austrian mountain streams
To sea bass just west of Perth.
He showed me all the basics,
Including how to tie a lure.
“No snaps. They’re no good.
Tie’em on…just to be sure.”
He made me practice casting.
“Take aim with your rod’s tip
Take her back - ten, eleven, twelve, one;
Smoothly return to ten… with just a little flip.”
While I practiced the casting motion,
He said, “Large Mouths will be jumpin’ bugs.
Water’s bubblin’ with Sand Bass spawnin’.
You’ll know the difference if one gives you a tug.”
As we drifted around the islands,
He said, “I think you’re ready.”
So, I picked a lure, a pretty Heddon;
And tied her on. My hands were steady.
Yellow with black dots and a weed guard.
A streamer tail and double treble hooks.
Who knew if she would do the job,
But I liked the way she looked.
As I tied her on, I looked around
For a likely place for my first cast.
Magazine pictures always showed weeds
In the background of a striking Bass.
So, I picked a reed bed in the shallows;
Threw my first cast, watched her fly.
What happened next was the stuff of dreams.
We couldn’t believe our eyes.
About eighteen inches before she lit,
A monstrous Large Mouth erupted from the water.
My teacher screamed, “Holy Mary, Mother of God!
Kiss O’Reilly’s Ugly Daughter!”
When the Bass broke water, it scared me.
My whole body jerked and shook.
So sudden, so silent, it seemed like slow motion.
Until I heard him screaming, “Set the hook! Set the hook!”
When the big Bass scared me,
I must have set the hook.
The tussle was on, long and hard.
This fish didn’t want to be cooked.
My lack of skills prevailed, however,
As I finally reeled him in;
I grabbed him by the lower lip,
Like I’d seen Don Wallace do, time and time again.
“Oh, my God”, he murmured as he weighed the Bass;
“Jeez. Over thirteen pounds....Thirteen pounds, two.”
He took out his Polaroid and laughed,
“I’ll take a picture of this fish... holdin' you.”
He snapped the picture of me holding the Bass;
On the back wrote the date, the length and weight.
As he turned to put the camera away……
Get ready. This is the part that’s great.
I’d watched Don Wallace ‘catch and release’.
He always did that on his show.
“This fish put up a good fight.” he’d say;
“Now it’s time to let him go.”
Yes, as my teacher put away the camera,
I held the big Bass by the lower lip and tail
And ‘swished’ him in the water,
Making sure his gills would not fail.
My teacher turned and saw what I was doing
Just as I let the big Bass go.
This, too, was like slow motion
As I heard him screaming, “NOOOOOOO!”
“Why would you do that, Lad?
Do ya know nothin’ at all?
A fish like that... on your very first cast?
Well...Lad, that fish goes on the wall.”
“Well…he’ll be here next year.” I said with a smile,
“And even bigger, I’ll bet.”
He said, ”You’ll make a fisherman, Lad.
It’s not for the fish that we fish…
but for the great stories we get.”
I still have that lure…and the rod and reel.
Still in their bags and boxes, just like new.
I thought about selling them on eBay,
But 50 years later, they have sentimental value.
You see…I’ve been invited to go fishin’ several times
By golfin’ buddies and other friends;
But for some reason…I really don’t know why…
I’ve never gone fishin’ again.
They say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
And I believe that is a fact.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of truth and,
In the meantime…..”Ya’ll come back!”
At some point, my legs begin to converse
of time spent on the trail, rest now needed,
For like a horse's labors exceeded,
the strength mere food and water can't traverse
Beyond exhaustion, repose will reverse
Thus respite, backpack set down and relieved
of duties, containing my home achieved,
until such time as rested legs endorse
my return to trails, and onward I go;
Traveling far Appalachia’s way,
witness to wonders and all living things,
in far towns and altitude, well below,
where nature’s flora and colors bouquet;
To motivate legs that have become wings.
Written: April 25, 2014
for Craig Cornish's Miltonic Sonnet Contest
There on the deck, I took a practice swing
tormented in the possiblity--
then hope was dashed--I found no hope to bring
up to the plate, when Ump cried out, "Strike 3!"
I was the last to bat--in this last game--
just oh for three, my record said it all!
And in the dugout, faces all the same,
the looks of gloom! Just waiting for my fall!
I took my place, right up there to the plate.
Out on the mound, the picher grinned at me--
as if he hoped to make my swinging late,
or throw me one--I couldn't even see!
He'd walked a batter, waiting on first base,
to tie the score, if we'd get in the race!
"No girl can hit!" I heard the catcher call,
and echoed from the bleachers was the same,
we made our stands, the umpire cried "Play ball!"
and then I vowed to get us in the game!
I gripped the bat, the windup came too fast!
As did the ball, but where it should have been!
"Strike one!" the umpire yelled at last--
The fastest ball that I have ever seen!
"She'll never swing!" the catchers words for me--
then threw the ball out to the pichers hand!
While out on first, my runner waits to see
if I can swing, or only make a stand!
Right in my face--the picher scouled a bit--
while I choked up--and readied for a hit!
All set to hit--I made it then my dream!
and came the ball--I could not swing at that!
"Strike twoooo!" the umpire made it scream,
then said to me, "You've got to swing the bat!"
The bat it weighed a hundred pounds or so;
"She'll never swing," the pichers eyes did say,
With that he gave his very best, I know!
I glued my eyes--as it screamed straight my way!
I never saw the hitting of the ball!
but won't forget the cracking sound of it!
Nor know again the feeling of it all
of this my very most important hit!
The sound it made--that ev'ryone could hear--
a batters dream--but pichers' greatest fear!
The ball soared hard and high past second base!
then seemed to drop so slowly from above,
as quick as I could get us in the race,
I watched it bounce right off the fielders glove!
The tying run was just ahead of me!
Ole "Never-Steal" now ran like not before!
And right behind, fast as my feet could be
I gave my best! And then I gave some more!
The crowd gave out the seasons wildest plea!
As I yelled to the runner just ahead,
with all the grit that I could find in me,
"I'm going in! And if you stop--you're dead!"
Ole "Never Steal" was giving all he could
and on his heels--I made my promise good!
We saw the ball come by as rounding third!
Not once a hesitation in it all--
and as the umpire watched without a word--
he swept his arms, to make the tying call!
The score was tied--third baseman set to throw--
now ready at home plate, the catcher stood--
and through it all--my only thought was GO!
but if I did--I'd have to make it good!
I knew the ball was thrown down to home plate!
The catcher poised, and glued where he should be!
I had to slide, and heard the ball hit late!
"She's SAFE! She's SAFE!" my Daddy yelled to me!
Now layed to rest--our coaches greatest fear--
the only game we won--throughout the year!
© ron wilson aka vee bdosa the doylestown poet
Oh No! Oh No! What has my son done? I hope it’s, not already to late!
He lives at a fraternity house, and surely, you know THAT intense mental state.
March has St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, and has, of course, Easter in it, too.
So they decided to have some great fun, yes, a fun filled month to happily ensue.
They invited a Leprechaun, the Easter Bunny, and the king of bongos, a gnome.
Apparently they convinced everyone it’d be more fun, to Simply… Stay… Home.
The whole campus flooded thru that fraternity house, in the party’s that ensued.
And they convinced the Easter Bunny to do jello shots in every color and hue.
He became known as THE BUN, yes, The One who finally, truly could fly…
And the Leprechaun danced till he dropped… to a great bongo serenade, aye.
There was no SIMPLY about this! As the music rocked the frat house, next door.
And girls were seen coming and going, at all hours, even passed out on the floor.
This was the party no one missed… even the frat house with the snobs, were there.
It’s said even some of the President’s security attended, partying there, somewhere.
Before they were done, a plan was sown, as the gnome found it’s yearly, new home.
Yes, it got there, in Washington somehow, on the top of the Real ‘White House’ Dome.
But along the way THE BUN was lost… some where along the never-ending roads.
The Leprechaun called me, our Dragons and Trolls, to help, to search the highroads.
The poor little guy was so pie eyed, when we found him along that crazy way, so…
We fixed him up, we didn’t give up, until we could send him, into that Easter Frey.
Contest: Show Me The Funny
I do not know?
My Wishes are Simple
My wishes are simple,
my desires few,
to gaze upon an ocean,
and marvel at a solitary drop of dew.
My wishes are simple,
my dreams not too grand,
to feel the waves teasing my tired feet,
with no footprints left in the cool, wet sand.
My wishes are simple,
my thoughts serenely gentle, calm,
my heart resting beneath a swaying palm,
healing my being, caressed by nature's soothing balm.
She slips from the sleeping ice.
Green, fresh, free to flow
through the great fjord.
Past the blue mountains.
She glides smoothly
over the rocks with glee,
covering them with her cool touch.
Tall evergreens cheer her on.
Waving as she courses down her chosen path,
All the while never tiring!
Surging forward to join the others like her.
This vast journey ,
will not end till she reaches
The Great Shores.
Her journey is joyful.
Touching all on her banks,
leaving the gift of life in her wake.
Oh! the wonderful time of Spring is here.
Can you smell the flowers in the air?
The leaves are green and flowers in bloom
yellows and gold and lavender too.
The birds sing a lullaby and whisper stories
of days gone by. Love and laughter is the best
medicine they say, so bring on the sunshine
and in our garden, lets play.
Harmony colored butterflies sway into the wind
they cast off and away through the days end.
Catch one dear Ma would say, it will bring luck
on a rainy day.
Apples and oranges round they go
handful of love and laughter will grow.
Spring is the time of all that's new,
come and see me and I'll share it
Hither I stand, at crossroads,
And then I gaze, at the yonder end-
The vague horizon from where I began;
And all that I may ever deem
Is that- my days
Have been a waken dream.
Hither I stand, at the edge of my dream;
Then I wonder, at the depth of my trance-
An adventurous journey through the wondrous woods;
An idyllic stroll through the vicissitudinous meadow;
And from the final station as I depart,
All that I can ever say, is that
Perpetuation has been a rouge
Of fleeting phases of my life.
St. Stephen’s College.
I do not know?
“You walked many miles,
Climbed this mountain
To confront me,
A dragon with the reputation
Of being fierce!
All to possess a so called
Chalice of Courge.
By doing all that you have done
You proved that you already possess
The courage you seek.”
The dragon smiled once more
As he saw understanding
Washed over Leonid’s face,
But soon followed sadness
“Do not ever regret this journey.
This journey was not to acquire a chalice,
This journey was to unblock
The spring of courage
That resides in you,”
Said the dragon.
“This spring will never grow dry
Unlike this chalice.
This spring is natural
And there will never be any side effects,
And one day, this spring
Will become a strong river.”
These words made Leonid stand a bit taller.
As it had turned dark,
The dragon allowed Leonid
To stay the night
As the journey down
Would be dangerous in the dark.
The dragon and the young man
Talked most of the night
And it was quite late
When they both fell asleep.
The next day,
After they said their good byes,
And as Leonid was about to leave the cave,
He turned back to the dragon.
“Dragon, even though
I could not drink from the chalice,
May I, at least, see in it?”
Asked Leonid, timidly.
Understanding how curiosity
Can gnaw at a person’s soul,
The dragon tipped the chalice
Low enough for Leonid to see in it.
The Chalice of Courage
“Sometimes, we need something
To aim for,
For us to take the journey
We need to take,
Even if that something
Is nothing at all,”
The dragon said.
Leonid nodded and left the cave.
He made his way down
The mountain safely
And when asked,
He said he had drunk
From the Chalice of Courage.
Leonid had gone on
To becoming a great warrior,
And only to those closest to him,
He would tell the true story
Of The Chalice of Courage.