2011 June

READING IN PEACE

Posted by | Poetry | 10 Comments

Obama just announced a withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. 33,000 by September of next year. This is a good thing. But do not forget, when everything’s said and done, there will still still be tens-of-thousands of our men and women over there fighting for our freedoms. Never forget.

READING IN PEACE

What a sheltered life I now lead.
I wake, dress, eat, drive to work.
Day after day, no bomb percussion,
gray and flame clouds blooming
over close farm fields or treelines.

No gunfire duck-and-run walks
with kids and dog. No low-flying
recon planes or camo’d troops
patrolling my lawn mowing
or our evening-lit windows.

I lie in bed with my wife with no fear
of being forced naked into the street-light.
I send my children to swim
in the neighbor’s pool and they come home
smiling, wrapped in towels, not body-bags.

Police or fire sirens raise ears for just as long
as it takes to guess their fender-bender accident
or kitchen fire destination.
Football rivalries don’t call for jihad
or road-side bombing the visiting school’s bus.

I sit in my well-lit office reading online editorials,
blogs from Beirut that say
I couldn’t sleep for my bed shaking from the bombs.

They sound closer and closer.
Maybe tomorrow they’ll quiet.


* I wrote this in ’06 after Israel began retaliating against Hezbollah for firing rockets into Israeli settlements. Almost ten years after I finished my enlistment in the Army.

SLIDE GUITAR

Posted by | Poetry, The road | 5 Comments

She asks
Tell me, sad eyes
What would it take to get a dance?

I don’t answer
My silence doesn’t register as an answer
She asks again

I stand, all jeans, boots & empty
Take her hand for a couple trips around the floor
Under neon I barely recognize my reflection in the glass

I’d rather be taking up space at the bar
Listening to that mournful wail
Letting my mind head off on its dark walk

You’re a hell of a dancer
Buy me a beer?
she asks

There’s no calling my mind back
I leave her with a sweating beer & a tip for the bar
Her frown says she gets it

 

**I was a featured poet at an alumni poetry reading recently. This is one of the handful I read. I’ll post more sometime in the not-so-distant future.

TAKE KIDS FLY FISHING

Posted by | On the water | 4 Comments

Readers of this blog know that, as a dad, there’s painful little that’s more important to me than spending time with the kids outdoors. When we get out to hunt, fish, camp or just walk trails, they’re gaining a deeper appreciation for the natural world around them (as am I), we get to spend more time together in less hectic/chaotic locales (i.e. away from sports, class trips and even the house), we laugh a lot and I get to listen as they share what’s happening in their widening circles of school, friends and life in general. I’m a lucky dude.

In a past post, I had written about the efforts of Cameron Mortenson and Fishy Kid to promote and get kids (and parents) excited about learning to fly fish. Recently, Kirk Werner (of Unaccomplished Angler fame) and others started a new website, aptly named Take Kids Fly Fishing, to help with the next step of that process: what sort of gear does my kid need and where do I find it?

Their Mission: to simplify your quest for kids fly fishing gear by providing a comprehensive listing of manufacturers of all manner of gear, from rods and reels to waders, boots, clothing, accessories, books etc. We also aim to bring you other helpful information that will help enhance your kids fly fishing experience.

They’ve even got a list of kid-friendly guides, which is a very cool thing. So, if you’re ready to get your new fishing partner(s) outfitted in age/size appropriate gear, you need to make sure to stop by the Take Kids Fly Fishing site (you can follow them on Facebook too). To sweeten the pot, they’ve even got a coloring contest going on through the end of the month with some major prizes being awarded. So get your young’un busy with the crayons, markers or colored pencils and get their hat in the ring. And while you’re at it, make sure to take them fishing too.