Friday, November 18, 2011

PickFish Friday Poetry

This PickFish Friday I wanted to try something different.   A few readers have sent requests for poems that were read at Fisher Poets.  So, without further ado, here goes.  Enjoy!

Fishin’ Again

The seas were high

Yet there was I

Standing upon my boat

Whilst the waves were mean,

Gruff and green

I manage to stay afloat.

Though thoughts turn

Towards headin’ back to town

Where it is safe and warm.

But them salmon keep a runnin’!

And them bills keep a comin’!

So out my net does go.

These waves come a crashin’

O’er my bow

And slap me in my face

I taste the salt

Upon my lips

And ponder ‘bout my fate.

But “keep fishin!” says I!

It’s do or die

Its now, I must keep the faith

And low and behold

What the sea does unfold

A king as big as I!

So I set out again!

And fight with the wind

This struggle to keep alive.

The riggin’ is singin’

Yet in my head is a ringin’

“Something here just don’t jive.”

But if this day looks bleak

By the end of the week

This tide is sure to change.

I’ll stick n I’ll stay!

And I’ll make ‘er pay!

The hour be not too late.

So keep fishin’ I must!

Or this season, a bust!

Then I’d be the one

To pay.

Cuz’ the ocean, you see,

Is intertwined with me

As the same salt runs through our veins.

And I need her

As she needs me

And so I go out

Fishin’ again.

O’ Jelly

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

Do you sting me in my eye?

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

You make me want to cry

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

Oh, the pain

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

It comes again with the rain

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

Are you in every mesh of my net?

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

In every single set

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

You come in by the tons

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

You just ain’t no fun

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

You are such a tease

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

I can’t even sell you to the Japanese!

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

You make me so blue!

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

Oh what’s a gal to do?

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

Do you torment me so?

O’ Jelly O’ Jelly Oh Why?

I guess I’ll

Never know

Halibut Diaries

March 16, 1995

Portage, Bay

Chatham Straights,

Southeast Alaska

Halibut trip #3

7000 lbs to catch

Aboard f/v Ptarmigan

Jack’s 42’ stern-picker

It’s the first year of IFQ’s

Individual Fishing Quota

The season opened yesterday

With gale force winds and snow.

Good luck to us.

Pinta Point

It’s evening and here we are anchored for the night

40 knot winds in Chatham Straights

We had to hang the bait over the side just so it would thaw

The box has been frozen since yesterday.

It’s hard choppin’ bait

But even harder choppin’ frozen bait

But, chopped is what the skipper wants

Me to hack up bait with this old rusty cleaver on that chunk of tree

We haul around for a choppin’ block

But that’s how Jack likes to do things

Old School

Probably because he’s old

He turns 80 this year

I hope he makes it

I don’t want to have to pack him in ice,

Like a halibut.

But that’s how he says he wants to go

Fighting a king salmon or big halibut

I don’t like this plan

Call me selfish, but I don’t want to

Have to fish with a dead guy

March 17

Saganoff Bay

St. Patricks Day.

Woke up to find a card on my bunk

Wishin’ me the luck of the Irish.

Wish I had a whiskey of the Irish!

Goldie, the cook left it for me.

She doesn’t go out on deck, but she’s sweet.

And makes Jack look like a spring chicken

She’s 89.

How’d I get on such a geriatric boat anyhow?

These people don’t look that old.

They should have to wear a sign or something.

We are waiting for the weather to break

Last night the wind sounded like a freight train

Comin’ through my bunk.

30 degrees and blowin’

And that wind just ain’t satisfied

Until it has cut me to the bone

It’s so damn cold.

We celebrate St Paddy’s day with our nightly

Slice of cheese and

Can of cold beer

‘Cept for Goldie

Her Happy Hour starts about 4

She likes her gin.

March 18

Hogette Bay

We took a pounding running, but we made it

Jack says he’s been fishin’ here since 1941

But he’s never fished halibut this early.

Now I know why.

Everything on deck was frozen this morning.

Oh, What a day, what a day.

What a miserable day.

Blowin’ n Snowin’ n fishin’

It just don’t mix

My fingers are numb

My hands are cold

My cheeks are cold

Gusts of wind

Up to 40 knots

It keeps blowing rain in my ear!

Man alive,

what a mess, what a mess

We try hauling the gear from this direction, then that.

It’s all no good

Fighting the gear,

Which is tight as a drum and

Threatening to snap in two

Before we can get it aboard

All that misery for 9 halibut and 3 lousy red snapper

The weather man says tomorrow will be better

I hope he’s right.

March 19

Day 4 and only 700 lbs of halibut aboard

Is this purgatory?

I’m sick of baiting hooks

March 20

Another 17 hour day

And I’m tired.

Worked from noon til 11pm

No break, no dinner

Too tired to by the time we quite eat anyhow

Caught some fish, though

March 21

Patterson Bay

The first day of spring!

Though not here

Everything on deck was frozen


Even my oil skins

I had to beat them

Just to climb into them

After that

We couldn’t even set the gear because of

The 1 inch prison all around us


We wait.

Finally! we catch 2000 lbs

It was a big day and

Brings our total to

3500 lbs of halibut on board

The weather came down today but is supposed to pick back up tomorrow.

Forecast is for 35 knot winds from the north

That’s too sloppy to run home so we might as well stay and fish.

Says the skipper

March 22

Day 7

I can’t wait to take a shower

It’s getting harder to keep the dread locks at bay

And I think even my breath smells like halibut now.

I thought today was Wednesday,

But the weather report says Thursday.

Down to tidbits for breakfast, now

Laughable, isn’t it?

That’s the new sayin’ on board

Found a Tums on the floor today

Went to pick it up but Jack said to leave it there.

He said “I like to keep some in reserve.

You never know, you might end up on the floor

Needing one.”

There’s 2 inches of new snow on deck

And they’re callin’ for Small Craft advisory in

Chatham Straight

6 foot seas and 25 knot winds.

Listening to country music hits from the ‘70’s

Is better than the Frank Sinatra we were listening to.

Our 1 hour run turned into 4

But we finally made it back to Gut Bay

And it was frozen.

Still trying to hide from the weather

But am told this is a good bay for northerly’s and westerly’s

But a south east will blow you right out of here.

Lucky for us its blowin’ from the north

March 23

Day 8

Finally, finally, finally

We’ve beat our way back across Chatham Straights

Then smacked ourselves through Frederic Sound,

But made it into


Sold our halibut for $2.40/ 2.25

With a 25% profit share.

We’ve lost money so far on this, but keep tryin’

Just for the halibut.

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