Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dog Days


The summer swelters are here.
Days that make me want to burrow
deep into the earth, praying hard
for the wet blessing of a rain drop.

Here in the South, there's a certain pace to things - or perhaps more succinctly, a certain lack of pace - when the heat arrives. Ambition melts like a chocolate bar left on the truck's dashboard and time lies suspended, shimmering like the watery mirage on distant blacktop. Life sits on the porch and pants.

Dog days.


Trees droop their shoulders,
leaves limp as fingers dangling
without purpose

T-Bone's response to this thermal oppression is to drop a float tube into the Eno and to go where the river takes him. The float embraces the pace of southern summer living and cools the dogs in the slow-flowing water and blessed riverbank shade. A fly rod, of course, is mandatory. I happily joined him.

Dog days.


Nothing sings
Nothing moves
but the dragonflies gliding
through the thick warm soup
that once was air.

Redbreast sunfish, bluegill, greenies, Roanoke and largemouth bass - all as lazy as we were. T-Bone's invitation read "Be at my place by 9:00am. I have found crack-of-dawn fishing on the Eno unfruitful." Fine by me. Yes, the sleep-in fish were lazy, but not completely unwilling, and we caught our share as we floated, portaged, and waded with our tubes tethered to our belts like puppies on a leash.

Dog days.


Hard to breathe.
Hard to care.
Caught in the doldrums,
I take baby breaths,
and dream of the quiet chatter of sleet
as it hits a tin roof.

Six hours on the river went by in a summer haze. Two miles of cool green ribbon. An afternoon of relief. Floating under the overhanging branches, feet deep in the languid flow, we could almost forget that summer was hard upon us. Almost.

Dog days.




Note: The italicized verse interleaved above is not mine. It was written by my good friend Catherine who protests vehemently that she is not a poet. It seems perfectly clear that she is mistaken.

14 comments:

AYearOnTheFly said...

Fantastic post. Poetry to an anglers ears. Glad your getting out.

Herringbone said...

Hi,
New follower. Nice. I felt the oppressiveness but was kind of comforted by it. Thanks. Scott.

Jay said...

Nice post. Makes me wish I was there with you.
A great way...
to waste away...
a Southern dog day.

Cofisher said...

Simply amazing how the verse and your thoughts meshed. Lennon-McCartney of the fishing world.

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Wonderful read , I could live with that kind of "Southern Pace". Can't imagine a better way to spend a hot summer day....Jeff

Sanders said...

What a great way to laze away the day...really enjoyed the read.

Beautifully written.

Fly Waters Edge - Kevin said...

Not a bad way to keep pace. Sorry but Catherine is mistaken. Good Post!
Where's my tube?

Hunter said...

Well done. Easy to slip into that day with you and 'feel' the heat and water moving all around you. Thanks.

The Tailing Loop said...

Very nice! I enjoyed that, Mike.

Trout Magee said...

That sounds like a killer way to beat the killer heat. Sorry about rhyming right there. Great pics and beautiful looking float trip. Stay cool and think about Montana and the Mountains. Tight Lines.

Mike said...

Thanks everyone. This post was such fun to write. Catherine's poetry set the stage and the day's photos came out well. The rest was easy.

e.m.b. said...

Catherine is very much mistaken indeed! This was brilliant writing, Mike -- and "Life sits on the porch and pants"....there is a feel to this piece that captures and places me back, down the mountain and into the sticky summers of my youth. Thank you...

Dan Short said...

Great stuff Mike! I just dropped in and caught up on some of your recent stuff. I've been missing out and need to drop by more often.

THE RIVER DAMSEL said...

I enjoyed the poetry very much...added the perfect touch! So, where is your countdown ticker for MT??? HA.