Thursday, May 6, 2021

More Poetry on Thursday

April and National Poetry Month are over, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop sharing poetry here. Today's post is the confluence of reading a wonderful poem and Justin's girlfriend Jess catching a muskie.

This impressive species (muskellunge, the largest member of the pike family) is one that Jess had decided she would like to catch this year, so she and Justin both got new larger fishing rods and reels, bought some really big lures, and Justin researched water in NJ where muskie are stocked. He warned Jess that muskie are often called "the fish of a thousand casts", meaning they are not easily caught and it takes patience and persistence. While they weren't counting their casts, Jess had this 30" fish on her line within 90 minutes. Justin stripped off his boots and socks and jumped in to make sure he didn't get away. And no fish were harmed to take this picture. They always fish catch and release, so the muskie swam away happily after some photos were taken.

The Fish 
Jane Hirshfield

There is a fish 
that stitches
the inner water
and the outer water together.

Bastes them
with its gold body's flowing.

A heavy thread
follows that transparent river,
secures it—
the broad world we make daily,
daily give ourselves to.

Neither imagined
nor unimagined,
neither winged nor finned,
we walk the luminous seam.
Knot it.
Flow back into the open gills.

Hirshfied, Jane. "The Fish." How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, edited by James Crews, Storey Publishing, 2021.

You can read more about the poet here

I wish you mindfulness, peace, good health, a bucket list fish of your own (whether actual or metaphorical), and poetry as the week winds down.


  1. I'm not much of a fisherman, but I love to eat crappie! I wish you all those good things as well, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  2. What a gorgeous fish!!! How cool that Justin and Jess share a love of fishing and can enjoy success together. (I think Justin has made . . . a great catch.) ;-) And the poem is absolutely perfect. (Tom bows down to Jess' fishing prowess. He is still working on catching one himself. . . it's a bucket-list thing for him.)

  3. Normally I'm a little grossed out by fish photos, but that's a really beautiful fish! Congrats to Jess on catching it!

  4. What a great picture of Jess and her fish (HUGE!!)!! And the poem is so cool. I really like so many of the words/phrases in it (luminous seam, etc.).

  5. That's a great looking fish and the smile on Jess' face tells the story well. Good for them for sharing this fun hobby together!

  6. Congratulations, Jess!! My experience with steelhead fishing was just like hers! I never even had a chance to perfect my cast. ;)

    Muskie were the prize fish on the flowage where my family spent summers from the mid-30s on. All my dad's brothers had caught at least one muskie, forever preserved at the taxidermist's, but they eluded my dad for so long that my uncle eventually carved & painted a full-size "mount" for him!

  7. Aaaaamazing! Congratulations to Jess. I don't fish but man I can't even imagine how excited she must have been.

  8. That is one beautiful fish!! And that poem! Fish and sewing combined! Perfect!

  9. Now that is a fantastic poem! I grew up with a dad who fished and took us kids with him. This poem brings back fond memories.

  10. ummm, am I the only thinking that Justin and Jess are so obviously soul mates, and how lovely that you get to see them doing things they love together. and even better when Jess gets to do something really special for her ... and Justin gets to help. :-)


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