Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fly Fishing Day

The thing I fear about this blog update is that when women see it they will sign off. I hope not, because it is a look into the heart of men.

A few months ago I made a promise to a man I met. Since then he and I have become friends, and he’s just a great guy, one who anybody would be proud to call friend. The promise was that I would take him and his two sons out and show them what fly-fishing is all about.

I’ve been waving a fly rod in the air for forty plus years, and it is one of the great joys of my life. As a boy my father gave me my first fly rod, and I’ve waded cold and warm water streams since. Smarter men have said it, and I believe it, that in the heart of men is the need for an adventure. We still want to see what’s over the next hill, still want to fight the dragon, and still want to save the beauty. Our world has watered that down, and we have let it fly away like smoke on a morning breeze. God has put it in our hearts for thousands of years. Fly-fishing is my adventure, and it is a special time to recharge and listen to the whisper of the wonders of God.

I live within ten miles of a handful of wonderful cold water streams, that hold rainbow and brown trout that test the skill of any fisherman, and quicken the heart. Why wouldn’t I want to share this with others?

So, last Saturday my friend and his two sons met me, and we headed for a spot on a North Georgia River. After a few minutes of talking and some instructions I put the three of them on a grassy area, and they practiced casting for a while. Then I tied on my favorite flies, and herded them into the water. I was pretty busy. The boys, fifteen and sixteen were doing well, but I have a suspicion they doubted there were any fish there, that is until the sixteen year old caught the first fish. A beautiful ten inch rainbow. Then they all realized this fly fishing thing was pretty cool. My friend took to it like he had been doing it for years, and I could see his steady movement as I helped the boys. The fifteen year old caught a nice rainbow, and I couldn’t have gotten them out of the water with dynamite. By the end of the morning everybody had caught fish, and gently released them back into the cool water, and the smiles told the story of men hooked on a new adventure.

There are so many things men can pass on to others, and sometimes those things are more about our dark side. I’d like to see us return to teaching the honorable ways men should act and live, but maybe I’m just an old guy dreaming dreams.

I don’t know what these boys want to be when they grow up, but I know one thing, on a warm day in June they joined a society of men called Fly Fishers, and it is a blessing that I was there to share the time with them.

The Best Days

After the leaves have turned and just before the cold rain that brings them down there are special days. A time of trout. The water is cool and clear as it swirls around my knees. The woods are damp in the mornings and I can smell the bear that walked this path earlier. The fly line makes a sound in the crisp morning air like silk upon silk, and the fly lands softly in the reflected sky. Trout fight harder and are cool in the hand as they slip back into the liquid glass of the still pools. It is a time that calms the heart and renews the soul.

High Spring Water

Some say not to,
I can’t resist.

Ten thousand feet, no one above
to spoil the taste.
Hand numb from snow melt,
letting it flow into my cupped palm.

Clear as poured glass over red stone.
Flowing from the mountain’s soul.
Life from the Earth Mother.
Raised to lips, sweet mossy taste.

Some say not to,
I can’t resist.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Remembering Naomi

On my recent trip to the city I was thinking about the people I had known when I lived there, and one of the special ones was my Mother-in-law, Naomi. She was a person that loved parties, loved stories, and was a very good artist. Naomi lived with us for awhile, and as she progressed into that dark place called Alzheimer’s she went inside herself, and in the end just wanted to leave here.
I loved her, and miss her.
Along the way I wrote a number of poems about her, and want to share them with you. If you are in this situation, my heart and prayers go out for you.

I’m afraid to stop for gas
on the way home.
If I got out of the car
it would explode out of me.
That scream I’ve held since
I walked into your room.
That log of a lump in my throat
tearing at my heart.
It grows when you beg to come home.
It mutates when you cry
and promise to try harder
to remember.
It curls like a lizard around my faith
causing me to doubt my love,
If you could just hear
my whisper.
good bye

Dark Star
So frail, in and out of the present.
At least your window sees the trees,
not the parking lot.
I remember time past at the Playboy Club.
Drinking gin fizzes, laughing at your antics.
Black skirt, white blouse, shaking it,
steady on the dance floor.
Alzheimer’s came between trips to
the beauty parlor and summer walks.
Sucked the air out of your life,
made it the size of a small room.
Time imploding, shrinking in on itself.
A dark star in the end, no light escaping.
Others left to tell the stories.
Others left to remember.

First published in The Scioto Voice

Monday, June 8, 2009


It’s been a week since I was here. I’ve been traveling part of that time.

I went back to the city to see my new grand baby. What a joy it was to hold her, and watch her sleep. Her name is Grace, and her sister Chloe is still amazed at who this new person is.

I had some time before I came back, and decided to drive down some of the streets that I walked when I was a kid. There are so many poems there. I see the trees planted by us kids when we were in the first years of school, now tall and hanging over the street, and all those houses that once held my friends, now owned by other families with young children. The toys on the sidewalks, just upgrades of the ones we left there.

Isn’t life wonderful? I was looking through some poems to share with you, and thought I’d share my autobiographical poem with you. The whole story, up until I came to the mountains, is there. It might act as a prompt for you.

Not much more to share with you today. I’ll be back in full measure in a few days. Right now I need to walk in mountain air, be thankful for it all, and listen for a poem.


Corky was the bare foot runner, dust devil catcher,
Red Ryder black bird killer.
Drinking water from the Shawnee well.
Listened to Mama read poems from the Times.

Robert haunted city schools, talked
“black tar, far tar, car tar.”
Fists stopped the teasing. Camel smoking
scribbler of poetry in the night.

Boot camp, bell bottomed wanderer,
Africa, Asia, Kilimanjaro.
Swimmer of Persian seas, walker of desert rims.
All whispered remember, remember in the night.

Bob, Bob -- Mister Bob.
Blue collar fades to white, run the show,
pay the price, watch your step, kiss the kids and
read, read them poetry in the night.

Life swings on a gold watch chain,
time hides the path.
Corky whispers stories over Starbucks Chai,
Bob decides it’s hard to live here,
leaves his notes on the desk.

Robert — writes poetry in the night,
wondering, wondering if it’s too late.

Robert W. Kimsey