The View from Middle Spunk Creek

The View from Middle Spunk Creek

The Next Hemingway?

Occasionally you read something that makes you say “Wow”.  A poem in the Orange Coast Review did that to me. It reminds me of  Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea.

With permission of the author, Nathan Parsons, age 22, I reproduce it for you here.

Angler’s Valor

I was drafted into a fishing trip

my friend and I, plus our father-figures

and twenty other strangers—

the unspoken goal: to become a man.

Three days and nights to catch as many fish

as my thin arms could carry home,

it was a trial by combat–

I would fight the fish for their lives.

Nathan

Nathan

As we departed from the dock

quartets of stocky, scruffy men

lipped cheap cigarettes and grumbled foul jokes

in low octaves, swearing like the sailors

they wished they could be.

The stench of doomed live bait and tobacco

masked their pitiful excuse for hygiene.

We stood wide-eyed on the bow,

trying to make each other flinch with immature tales

of sea monsters and killer fish. At night

the sea rocked us to sleep in our bunks.

I woke to the fisherman’s war cry: “Hook’s up!”

A panic, then a scramble for armaments.

The men lined the circumference of the boat,

rods and reels in hand. Then one by one

they ripped silver beasts from the sea,

turning the blue a frothy white.

Handed my weapon with orders to fight,

I lined up alongside them, pulling my first life

from the thrashing waters, a giant hook gouged

through the white of its eye. The deck

was soon overrun with shimmering life,

flopping and slapping,

choking on air.

A sudden ceasefire, an armistice,

a commotion on the deck–.

An old fisherman raked his chest

with liver-spotted hands, then clung

to the rails of the ship until his grip

went limp and he dropped flat on his back,

eye level with the fish.

“Don’t let the boys see it” said one of the men.

But it was too late. The old fisherman,

salt-stained hat beside him,

blood-burst eyes bulging,

had been dead when he hit the deck.

Jump-suited angels descended from the sky

and plucked the old man from our boat,

carrying him into Valhalla in a rusted steel cage.

***

Put It On Your Calendar!

May 7.  Google Amazon Books and buy your ebook  version of The Reaper for $0.99.  One day only. If you don’t have a kindle, nook or similar device, you can download the app (it’s free) to your smart phone.

Reaper final cover mock-up

***

And, Finally…

The Old Punster strikes again:

“Tis better to have loved a short person than never to have loved a tall”

***

Adios for this week. May your week be happy, healthy and prosperous, and may you find time to hug your kids and read a good book.

***

Check back weekly for Rob’s musings from Middle Spunk Creek.

To read earlier blog posts go to the Blog Archives box in the upper righthand corner of this page.

Leave a comment. Rob would love to hear from you.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: