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Far From Any Ocean

June 2, 2008

Come with me and I will make you
fishers of men. Something I would want to be.
Collect people and hang them
from a stringer, from the back of my boat.
I used to stand in a lake up north,
with my lover hugged up behind
teaching me to cast a fly.
Thick yellow line sings through the air,
light tippet touches down.
Below the surface,
walleye, trout, bass, large and small mouth,
look up through the waters.
I collect green bottle glass from along
shores of great lakes to look back at them.

by Lisa J. Cihlar

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  1. June 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    I haven’t been fly-fishing for so long that I may have lost that talent for letting thick string fly, and then teasing it back across the surface … waiting for the strike. Most likely I’d not catch a single fish …

    but I’ve never lost my love of lakes and the small treasures found at their edges …

    Thanks for always improving my day.


  2. David Barger
    June 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm


    I love the way you open up with this poem, collecting people from a stringer and hanging them from the back of your boat, what a terrific image! This is a truely beautiful poem. The finishing lines are galumptious! Bravo!! Well done my friend, well done.

  3. Barbara Cihlar
    June 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    What a nice memory poem. Reminds me of days gone fishing and camping in the Boundry Waters in Minnesota.
    Barbara Cihlar

  4. Jan Pensinger
    June 2, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    The images and feelings are so vivid. I’m headed up to the lakes soon on a trip, but you sent me there early. I love your poem, Lisa!

  5. Erin
    June 3, 2008 at 11:31 am

    What a lovely comment on memory! Your images come alive like a recalled memory does in one’s mind…

  6. Diane
    June 3, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the startling image of people strung like fish on a line – altho it’s on the disturbing side, too. Not soon forgotten. Also for evoking my own memories of learning to fly fish with my Dad in Montana’s Gallatin River, far from any ocean.

  7. Lisa J. Cihlar
    June 3, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks to everyone for your kind and wonderful comments.

  8. May 2, 2009 at 9:04 am

    The imagery and scriptural allusion really grabbed me with this one.

    Nicely done.

    Linda N.

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