Perhaps you remember it.
Grade four, English composition as it was known then. The curriculum included a section on poetry -- the rhyming kind -- the kind that has a delightful rhythm as well as those wonderful words that sound the same, like "blue" and "true", and "come" and "some". I loved those words and the way you could string them together to tell a little story. It became something I really liked to do.
My earliest introduction to such poetry, without a doubt, occurred one Christmas Eve. I listened to Clement C. Moore's "T'was The Night Before Christmas" which was first published under a different title on December 23, 1823, and read to children all over the world for almost two hundred years. Later, it became a joy to study classic poets like Robert Frost and William Blake in English classes. Since then, I've gotten a big kick out of scribbling lines that rhyme, and making up little poems for people who inspired me and events that moved me.
One day when George and I were doing a little shoreline fishing, I watched him quietly tying weights on his line, baiting his hook and casting into a lake that was framed by the early beauty of a summer day. It was an idyllic moment and excellent fodder for a simple little rhyme. I give you, then
The Angler's Companion
He flicks his line into the lake,
(It seems to suit him well),
And settles back into his seat
To watch the waters swell.
The rumpled brim of fishing hat,
The tackle box of gear
Are all the tools he needs to make
The worries disappear.
And I with book and pad and pen
Look out across the pond,
At trees and marsh and lily pads
And everything beyond.
The sun is therapeutic
And the crickets sing to me,
And sometimes deep inside I wish
A poet I could be.
Or possibly a painter
With brush and easel too.
I'd capture all the beauty of
The greens and whites and blues.
But maybe there is value
Just in drinking in this scene,
Of living in this moment
And in feeling this serene.
And looking up from written word
I see him check his line.
He mirrors all my thoughts about
This day that is so fine.
Contented with the here and now
We fish and read and write.
An angler and a thinker
Side by side from dawn 'til night.