Tao of Fishing

IMG_2202Gone is my last drop of hope,
As I stand on this crack-of-dawn-boulder,
The sun shines high in the sky,
Above this raucus river.

Out of the blue you leap before my eyes,
Sleek chrome summer steelhead,
Jumping into the tail of this ancient pool,
Full of determined energy,
Right before my feet.

A childhood moment frozen in memory.

Every synapse of my brain lights up like a circuit board,
Adrenaline jolts me into frantic action,
In my haste I make a clumsy cast, and wrap my line,
The lure spins down like a tether ball,
At the tip of my pole.

Hands shaking, I deftly unwrap
The #2 Canadian Wonderlure and cannon ball split shot,
Casting my spoon a little higher into the pool.

You nail the silver spoon like a freight train,
My Mitchell 300 sings as the six pound test line
Whirs off my reel,
My rod dips wildly up and down,
I hang on with all my might.

Ferociously you rip across the emerald waters
To the opposite side of the river,
Under the dark green fir lined bank,
Cart wheeling wildly above the fast waters.

I work you back to my boulder,
Before you rip another memory into my soul.

The fishing Gods have given you to me,
My first summer steelhead,
And I will pursue you with respect and passion,
For a lifetime.

You beseeched me to chase you on ancient rivers,
Snoqualmie, Skykomish, Stillaquamish,
Satsop, Cowlitz, Puyallup,
And now the Green.

You promised me great adventure,
And you rewarded me well over the years.
You sacrificed your chrome rainbow body,
So I might find my own.

Standing on the smooth slick stones,
I find solitude,
Along this great river.

It is you who hooked me,
And pulled me into your eternal,
Ever changing waters.

Our sacred home.

© 2013 M. Tsai


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