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Ivan Donn Carswell Poems
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Piscine kind of kinship by Ivan Donn Carswell
To glibly say that Joe was sort of odd
quite missed the point. Peculiar in many
ways and kind of weird, I would have
been afraid of him were I a child (if I ever
was a meek and mild retiring kid), avoided
him as if the plague. But he was good to Mutti,
and that Mutti was so good to me was cause
enough to bear the most extreme
eccentricity. He taught me how to fish;
oh, a blissful art it is, and just as Art exists
beyond relationships we were not friends,
instead we shared a piscine kind of kinship,
a sensitivity in which we learned to tie
the special flies that fished with great success
in streams around his home; we blended with
the river banks, cast our lines in rhythmic,
trance-like ballet dance that looped and swirled
in gently rippled peace, rarely spoke, we had no need,
we always knew which piece of water each
of us disposed. We drove the many miles
to fabled Lakes and fished in legendary tarns
and breaks, watched each other’s backs in places
anglers have a wont to go. On the river I’d
know within an inch where Joe would be,
studied his impressive ease of cast,
his reach, retrieve, the placing of the fly,
the gentle rise of rod to set the hook;
it took me many years to even part achieve
his awesome symmetry. I should,
with true humility, mention I
was never near as good.
© I.D. Carswell
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