Bristol Bay Circa 2008

I went commercial fishing once and the only thing I came back with was a pocketful of poems and a new pair of Grundens. It was worth it. Here are two poems…

My baby’s favorite food is salmon. I cannot begin to explain how happy it makes her father!

King Salmon

Arrived to King Salmon around three o’clock,
Hitched it to Naknek and walked dock to dock,
Searching for Snopac to send me to sea,
Unlucky today, tomorrow maybe.
The Jean-Ann is awaiting, her deck all agleam,
For this hard working greenhorn to fulfill a life’s dream.
The sea has been calling since before I can tell,
My time has now come, I’m not willing to fail.
Am I anxious? Hell no! Fear will not grasp me today,
I will burst from her clutches and earn a fair pay.


Tofer cooks rice and taters
While Skip and I sit and wait,
Watching the corks bob up and down
Trying to concentrate.
Picking ain’t easy it’s an art in itself
To peel back the entangled net,
But these two have done it
For plenty of years
While I haven’t done a full set.
I pitch the sockeyes two at a time
Grabbing them each by their cheeks,
Keeping track in my head
The number of dead
Is not such an easy feat.       

The fat man sleeps in the foxhole,
His slaves work away on the stove,
Dreaming of fish that we don’t catch,
Maybe his own garden grove.
His laziness sets the whole crew back,
Kristofer, myself and the glut,
Afraid of cork-lines around us,
We don’t really fish, merely putt.
“Teaching” us men how to do things,
Simple little things yes indeed,
From frying an egg to black coffee,
Wake up! It’s not Z’s that we need!
This guy is driving me crazy,
If I have to last longer I can’t,
This is me letting it all out,
Each man is obliged to a rant.

Published by secretgardenalaska

Best friends raising two daughters off-grid in a remote area of Alaska. We grow food, write stories, make jewelry, and live a sober life.

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