"Some poets explore environment to better expose an internal landscape. Thalman is such a poet, exposing Oregon and our heritage." Kirsten Rian Poetry Editor, The Oregonian
CATCHING THE LIMIT
I troll along the south shore, where other fisherman say the angling is no good: too shallow, too many weeds. With their fish finders, they cluster off Princess Creek, but I don't see them catching anything.
The lake lies flat mirroring sky. An osprey rides the currents, until he spies a trout, folds his wings and drops like a swift mountain stream falling over the edge of a cliff, plunging talons first into his own reflection . . .
Emerging in a fury of spray, wings widespread, using them as oars, the bird strokes against the surface, flapping steadily to reach the air again, nosing his wriggling prey into the wind.
I point the bow at the spot where the osprey caught the rainbow. More times than not, that is the place my pole starts to bend.
"Catching the Limit" first appeared in Calusa Review, republished in From Here We Speak: Oregon Anthology and Your Daily Poem. com.
“In twelve lines of beautifully weighted imagery, “Inheritance” offers an understated,
moving portrait of the speaker’s grandfather—a portrait conveyed through old work gloves
as rigid and expressive as sculpture. The poem’s last gesture is a fine, subtle evocation
of the connection between this grandchild and grandfather.”
Poet Laureate of Oregon
In Grandfather's shop, I search for a pair of gloves, but none seem to match. Either the right or left has been lost in an act of forgetfulness.
I find a few that could be sculptures Rodin would have admired: a hand gripping an invisible hammer, another resting as in a lap, one pointing like it knew the correct direction.
His daily sweat soaked into the leather making the palms shiny as calluses, fingers ridged until stretched like skin, worn again.
I try them on and my fingerprints embed on top of his. My hands ready to rake twigs and cones blown down around the cabin all winter.
First place: 2006 Marylhurst Review contest. Republished in Your Daily Poem.com.