Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Chinook in April 2014

                                                        Here is my first spring chinook of April 2014.
                                                       I caught these in 2013 in a few good days.
                                         Ted Hughes wrote in his book River my favorite fishing poem 
                                                      "After Moonless Midnight."  Here are two lines:
                                                      "Their eyes waited, furious with gold brightness,"
                                                      "Their savagery waited, and their explosion."
                                                       The infamous skunk cabbage is a harbinger of spring on the 
                                                       Pacific Northwest coast.
                                                                    Spring sun warms through a big tree over the river.
Spring chinook season is my favorite.  I wait all year for the tug of a monster silver slab from the deep, followed by delicious red flesh with basil, olive oil, and lemon pepper.  A few days ago I was lucky enough to land two on spinners, which I quickly clubbed, along with three bonus wild steelhead I quickly released.  While I love teaching creative writing and world literature in San Diego, I'm envious of Pacific Northwesterners who get to fish every day this time of year.  Their stories, generosity, and laughter show evidence of lives well-lived. 

Warm sunny days mixed with rain and gray clouds make this a time of transition. Winter's mold and moldy thoughts vanish with the cry of "Fish on!"

I mentioned Ted Hughes' writing about fishing in my first blog post called "Metabolism of Stars," and again above, because Pacific Northwest spring is about circles and renewals.  In my first blog post, Senegalese environmentalist Baba Dioum was quoted, "In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."  It reminds me of a poem by Thomas Rain Crowe in his book Zoro's Field titled "May It Continue." I use Zoro's Field in my creative nonfiction classes, and many students love it.

Regarding the eco-theme, thanks to poet Miriam Sagan for interviewing me on her blog, Miriam's Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond  with these three questions: "1. What is your personal/aesthetic relationship to the poetic line? That is, how do you understand it, use it, etc.; 2. Do you find a relationship between words and writing and the human body? Or between your writing and your body?; and 3. Is there anything you dislike about being a poet?"  Thanks also to Beverly Faxon at Skagit Valley Food Co-op where I shop for her brief review of my book The Other History, and for placing that review beside an article on "The Hidden Secrets of Chocolate."  Life is good, for now, and I hope to catch more springers in late May when I return from teaching.

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