Friday, January 23, 2009

Cool Fishin'

It's been cool hereabouts, in a seasonal sort of way, but hopped up into the twenties for a few days. When I took the photo above, however, it was well below zero (yes, that's Fahrenheit) and the little gill-net boat was working in some pretty good ice as she came home off of the big lake. There are still some tough hombres around, and you can count Great Lakes fishermen among them.

Here's a piece for cool sailing:


In this sea of dimlit winter
with its dark currents pulling
to the far-flung isles of madness
through the dozen shoals of sadness
where my spirit jibes awild
in a goosewing careless way

Here the rusted craft are travelin'
with their triple-reefs unravelin'
and their drunken sailors jigging
as the rigging is a-screamin'
with a demon wind a-running
in its cunning
in its cunning
in its howling down the bay

And the lonely are in danger
as the leeward rail goes under
in the thunder of their vices
as they slowly throw the dice
at what they may

And the stalwart lads are climbin'
far aloft above the seas
and a-low the rest are pleadin'
(although no one hears their pleas)
and their knees
they are a-bleedin'
from the kneelin'
from the kneelin'
and they're prayin' now for healin'
as the frigid night goes stealin'
toward another frigid day

- Ralph Murre

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Red Letter Day

A few years ago, I wrote a piece of which I was, and still am, quite proud. The poem has appeared in various places in print and can be found on several sites on-line. Today, however, I am equally proud to retire this poem, and to once again salute the flag of MY country. Here, hopefully for the last time, is that poem:

and by the way,
I do not choose to pledge allegiance
to black divided from white,
red states from blues,
shades of brown divided in every town.
one nation, all too divisible.
baptist divided from catholic,
gentile from jew,
muslim from buddhist,
me from you,
one nation, under whose god ?
white collars washed
separately from blue collars
in an oh, so delicate cycle
while collarless slaves
dig their own graves
trying to get to the one nation, invisible.
once they’re here,
there’s plenty to fear -
some living large,
others quite small,
I’ll pledge allegiance
when there’s justice for all.
~ Ralph Murre

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back When

back when it used to snow
and it was so white
wherever we looked
and we didn't look
where it wasn't
and we were so white
wherever we looked
and we didn't look
where we weren't
back then
we'd shovel
and we'd plow
and we'd look for answers
in the drifts of white
back when it used to snow
and it was so white
and we didn't know
~ Ralph Murre

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Final Notice

now that I have jumped
there is news that they've cancelled
the swimming lesson
- arem