Thursday, June 17, 2010


Conversations, lately, have ranged from the catastrophic impacts of pumping a million gallons of oil, daily, into the Gulf of Mexico, to the inevitability of nuclear warfare. Thinking about the destruction we human beings are capable of inflicting on ourselves can lead a guy to despair. Which is why I took the 3 weight rod, the one I bought for my young nephew, and went to "the mountains to get their good tidings."

The rivers are running fast with snowmelt, so I ambled along a creek that passes quietly through an alpine meadow. Lush grasses and colorful lupine are part of our late spring, along with crouching behind a tree stump to watch a trout rise and take a Cutter Caddis. John Muir's promise was fulfilled. "Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees."

That doesn't mean I completely forgot about our troubled world. Being neither a fatalist nor a believer in miracles myself, Jack London's advice came to me again and again over the course of the day. "Dig moved more mountains than faith ever dreamed of." Come on, folks, let's pick up our shovels and dig.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Flows of 8000 cfs are keeping the walk and wade fisherman off the river. Myself among them. As the days of not fishing tallied up, I came to realize I miss the friends I fish with as much as I miss the fishing.

So I called my buddy Larry yesterday and met him for a beer and a dog at Onespeed, down the street. This morning, my buddy David and I met for coffee and omelets at Nopalito's. We talked about the flows on the American and the fishing on the small streams in the Sierra, quick with snowmelt.

Hanging out with friends over food and drink is the next best thing to fishing with them. Naturally, road trips are in the works.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


In the morning, before I could see, I listened.
The West’s fragrance rose off the ebbing tide.

A chorus of sea-gulls gathered on a thick raft of sea-kelp
inside the offshore reef.

A young buck’s hoof-beats paused on the bluff-trail.
Quail rustled the bunch grass.

There was more—

Gray whales rolled southward, along migratory songlines,
to calve in Baja’s warm lagoons,

pelicans rode the bluff-winds northward,
toward the mouth of the Gualala,

where salmon schooled in the river’s slack water
before pressing upstream to spawn.

And when first light broke the East’s dark silence,
it was the tolling of an ancient bell.

(My poem, "What I Didn't See," was first published in Susussurus: The Sacramento City College Literary Journal)