|Poetry from 2006 Contest —
The King by Daniel P. Neal/Orkspace — 1st Place Winner
Beneath the swirling tides there waits a king.
His palace gardens filled with kelp of green.
Supplicants prostrate and fill waiting wings
To bring tribute, else meet his teeth so keen.
At a signal, his honor-beggars bring
Tithes forward, or with his hunger be seen.
Leading the masses, batray's stabbing sting,
Barr'd perch from the waves, with bronze armor sheen,
Anemones on rocks tremble and cling,
Then parades of rockfish entered the scene.
Drums of the croakers, through his halls did ring,
Maiden cabezon, offer'd as his queen.
Gold hooks through his lips, King Lingcod awaits
For your offering, be it lure or bait.
‘The Ritual’ by Hara Kumaran/Climber9
The excitement starts at home
Packing this tackle box
Grabbing some frozen bait from the freezer
Making sure to have the right rods
Last minute checking reports
Then as you turn down the street to the pier
Excitement becomes more of an anxious
Desire to just be out fishing for the big one
Your heart beats a little faster than normal
Even though the bites not wide open
You hurriedly park your car
And pull the gear from the back
Maybe you put your poles together there
Or maybe you wait ‘till you’re at your spot
Double-checking everything, you walk out
Uneven pressure treated planks, salt air, and seagulls
All a welcome sights, smells, feelings as you
Make it to the best place on the side away from the wind
The place that all the bait usually congregates
Where you caught the twelve pounder last year
Before you bait up and cast out
You check to see if any of the regulars are there
And to see if anything has been caught before you came
Partially so you know what to tie on to your line
Partially to boost your hopes for the days catch
On your light rod, a Sabiki rig with an once pyramid sinker
On your heavier rod, a hi-lo with cut strips of anchovy
But that will change as soon as you fill your five-gallon bucket
With shimmering, swimming, tiny shiner perch and sardines
Then you’ll pin one on and cast it out for something bigger
Now that your lines are out and drawn taught
Now that your at the pier and have checked in with the regulars
Now that you know you haven’t forgotten anything in the car
Now that you are just waiting for the bite that is just around the corner
You relax and let the calming effect take hold of you
The ritual continues once again
Various by Pete Rabbit — 1st Place Winner
Line tugs so softly
Elusive lingcod, at last?
Gah! Curse these bullhead!
Harbor seal drifts by
A beautiful creature it is
Crab net still empty...
Rod: Two hundred bucks
Reel: Another two-fifty
No rod holder: gone
Ten hours, no fish
No dinner tonight, it seems
That gull looks tasty...
Walk half mile, look back
Hide behind big rock a while
Lucky spot close by
Kayaker off shore
Another fish; he mocks me!
Hehe...big wave comes
'Plugging New Brighton Beach' by Hara Kumaran/Climber9
Sand on my bare feet
Striped bass peeling off line
A seagull wails