Cast a shadow in my direction

There is so much to notice,

starting with the shape of the land in this place

beneath the big tree roots that’s roly-poly,

not something you’d notice if you’re my size

but definitely as an ant or a snake.

Next we come to the lake where the fishers fish

where someone brought a little yapping dog

and a kid hardly big enough to walk

and the dog is bossing the kid around

and looks like a French teacher I once had,

all shoulders no neck.

They have a radio going,

and as I stand in the morning with the trees it takes hold,

some song from the 70s with a lot of sax,

it spills across the water the way the sun at dusk might

(or like maple syrup hitting your table linens,

depending on how you feel about saxophones).

One angler is saying to the other,

most people don’t know how to cast—

and he says it like he’s an expert, just before casting himself.

I leave the four of them (the two anglers, the kid and the dog)

wondering, do I know how to cast?

Or are my lines all crossed or worse,

abandoned in trees,

the spinners, lures and spoons

untouched forever, unnoticed:

bait that wouldn’t fool a fish.

Categories: poetry, writing

Tags: ,

9 replies

  1. You surely know how to cast your observations into poetic bait … reeling in a reader’s reflections …
    (Now I’m fixating on saxophones … we are at Woody Guthrie Festival where it’s mostly guitars & such … plus an incredible accordionist … but sax could show up … you’ve got me hoping!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, the sax. I wish I could pry out all I have to say about the sax. Something in the unabashed earnestness of the 70s, the way it comes about. I picture a guy with a well-kept ponytail blowing into one and can’t help feeling myself lapse into cheese. But have fun at the festival! Sounds like a ball! Give me an accordion any old day, a fiddle, a banjo…mouth harp, and so on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The sax ain’t the bait, it’s what you reel ’em in with.

    I can’t write that in my voice, nor say that the sax is the bacon of life without admitting that I read that on a Tshirt.

    Breakfast’s now cooked and I will reread your post as I warm to the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your lures, lines and spinners will flicker through my mind today.
    Thanks Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The poetic bait”. I like that.

    Something Chaplin-esque about casting. I see myself smiling happily, flicking the lure backwards over my shoulder and twitching forwards… as the rod jerks out of my hands because the hook is caught in a bush.

    I’ve missed seeing my therapist during our endless rounds of lockdown (#5 in progress).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t your therapist do virtual? I did with mine; of course I didn’t like it the same but it still helped a lot. I like your image there, getting the hook caught in a bush. Sigh…life is good; you’ll be out of winter soon enough my friend! Was thinking about you this morning and wondering if you ever heard that Joanna Newsom record Have One on Me. Terribly polarizing but I’m all in.


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