Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Memories of fishing

Tofino used to be a thriving fishing village. The government docks were filled with commercial boats; often stacked two or three deep. Today, you'll see more live-aboards, touring sailboats, whale-watching boats and sport fishing boats at the local docks, but there still are a few commercial fishermen; for now at least. Here's a poem by Carolyn Borsman that alludes back to those days of commercial fishing. (I'm sorry, I can't find any links or information on Ms. Borsman, so let me know asap if you have any links. This was published in 1979 in D'Sonoqua: An Anthology of Women Poets of British Columbia, Volume 1.)


Lights running waves
cross the current
to fallen stars
edgedblue between blue
and the fleet clusters.
A lighthouse anchors the bay.

I pour coffee into silk spray,
watch the grounds fly,
slip stern under as the bow dips
then carves mountain.

Clouds stumble down to water
like buffalo snorting fog
and the bow line disappears.
A pack of rocks, shadows
slink by,
and we throttle the open sea.

Run dawn to daylight,
cut speed.
Pick up stabilizers,
drop the lines: "hoochies"
dance the green clear down.

Already and breakfast frying,
wires tug the bells to sound.

I pour coffee into mugs,
watch weeds fly the wires
slip the leaders as,
gurdies humming,
the first cath comes
and then a second cup
and a third cup

- Carolyn Borsman

(If you are wondering, this is a type of hoochie.)

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