PA creeks, poetry paperbacks and “The Green Knight”

FFJ contributor ron P. swegman (and get that right) recently fired over FFJ Editor Ben Romans a little ditty for the Tailgate unofficial fish poetry slam. Last man standing wins a half-empty tube of floatant. — JG

I actually came to writing and publishing through poetry. The piece below (and its introductory remarks) pretty much say it all and the poem is set during the month of May. I have also attached a jpeg photo of a brown trout I caught last May from the same creek mentioned below.

The BOB and the WHEEL are poetic terms, parts of an alliterative verse form made famous by Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. The bob is a two-syllable word or phrase followed by the wheel, a four-line stanza in trimeter where the second and fourth lines rhyme with the bob.

Reading meets rod and reeling when you keep a worn poetry paperback in your knapsack while along the water. And sometimes, like this time along French Creek in southeastern Pennsylvania, olde fashioned writing results . . .

Regards, — ron P. swegman

Uncle Bob and the Wheel

He spins
Whenever he fishes.
We appear to be twins
When we are on the stream
In search of those with fins.

The trout
Is our favorite quarry,
Of this there is no doubt.
The brook, brown, and rainbow
Is what our sport’s about.

The brook
Is the most colorful.
The natives take the hook
Best in cold headwaters
Where springs give birth a brook.

The brown,
The smart Salmo trutta
That is of world renown,
Sips flies from the surface
Best when the sun goes down.

Are another matter.
One never really knows
What time or bait is best,
But when one strikes, one knows!

One day
My uncle caught all three
In his own humble way:
“With worms,” he said. The trick:
“The magic month of May.”

The stream
Was small and had no name
But his own, it would seem.
The trout swarmed to his bait
Just like a rugby team.

“Yes, May
Is the month for fishing,”
He said, and to this day,
Whenever I cast flies,
He spins his yarns his way.


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