Fishing RSS


16 April, 2017: Fishing


by Tobin F. Terry
Dad, what’s a grist mill? a boy asks as he and his father prepare to descend a fifteen-foot wall across from Franklin Thermal. Below the wall there is a bank of pebbles, pieces of wooden wheel, mill stone, decomposed grain, and waterfalls of the Mahoning River. The falls, remnants of an 1823 gristmill dam, gush greenish yellow water. The wall separates the man and his son from Crappie they can catch, but shouldn’t eat.
The man ties a rope around an ancient oak, one that has lived longer than commerce in this town, and tells his son about the series of wheels powered by water, the drive shaft, and the wallower. The boy holds on to the rope in front of his father. The man reaches around his son, thinks about how the boy has grown fat sitting in front of the television, eating packaged sweets absent of the semivolatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls he read about in the paper.
As they step over the side, the rope frays and snaps. Falling, everything turns sepia, moves slowly, smells like mud and dead fish. On the ground the boy cries because he is scared, and his ball cap is in the water. The man laughs, because there are better things to cry about.
“Fishing” by Tobin F. Terry, from Emerge Literary Journal. Issue 9. ELJ Publications, 2014. Used by permission of the author.
Tobin F. Terry is a department co-chair and associate professor of English at Lakeland Community College, where he teaches writing and coordinates Lakeland’s annual poetry competition. He is an editor for Chagrin River Review, communications director emeritus for the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and emcee of Words and Wine, a monthly poetry series in Painesville. Terry graduated from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program through the University of Akron; taught English at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; and served as copyeditor at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama.


Confession is good for the soul, so try writing a confessional – about all the things you are not sorry for.

N. K. Hasen
I'm not sorry for putting clothing on my double coated dog
When it rains I don't want to spend hours drying fur
When it snow; easier to find her
For fur coloring blends into the snow
Besides she likes it; get attention for wide range of clothing attire
I'm not sorry, for not stopping my dog from chasing geese
I have tried to stop her
But, she doesn't seem to listen to me outside
It is also part of her breed
Which could be anything because she is a mutt
I'm not sorry for talking to my dog more than people
Dogs don't criticize you
They always go with flow
They are always there for you
For that I am not sorry,
That my dog doesnt like you much either
4/21/2017 9:58:06 PM

I Must Confess...

An empty bowl, a silver spoon,
Dirty with the last drop of yum.
I know I said I wouldn't eat it all,
But I forgot to leave you some.

I did enjoy it every bit,
And though my will is true,
The whole container is now empty,
Gone are the sprinkles too.

I do not feel very bad though,
An innocent smile touches my face.
Even though we should share,
I was overcome by the taste.

I must say this thing I've done,
Probably angered you in the end.
But take no heed I still concede,
I regard you as a friend.
4/21/2017 2:22:55 PM

Chantelle Brady
Sorry, I'm not Sorry

I confess
I am not sorry
about using my
brother's friend's
Netflix account
because he didn't log out.
I'm addicted to Netflix.

I confess
I am not sorry
about watching
movies on an
illegal website
so I didn't have
to pay for theater.

I confess
I am not sorry
about confessing
my sins and
telling about
things that I
am not sorry for.
4/20/2017 3:30:58 PM

Bravo, Ryan! Your poem could be my anthem, too.
4/17/2017 11:08:06 PM

Elaine Bishop
It is good for the soul, mine or yours. Do you think I am able to wash it all away like a warm bath of Epsom salts. Standing before you,
with my nefarious grin on my face.
I tell you my sins, then wonder if I missed something.
If I left out something,
something that’s very important.
It's Easter... DAMNIT
more so the day you passed away,
So hard to celebrate a day
when all I can think of is you and how I miss you,
you hands so wrinkled and so soft. your blue eyes so light and bright.
I love you so much,
Happy Easter
4/16/2017 9:58:48 PM

What alibi do I need for being single?
I'm not lonely, not in want
I have options
And mine is solitude
I have companions; temporary not permanent
Thank you for asking but I'm fine

And why can't I be the last
Do I need to create more?
To make others grandparents
To create for others somethign that I don't want
To whom is that fair?
Who is being greedy?

Is it wrong to want more?
To learn, see and do?
Or, should I be content?
Being average like the rest of you?
Your misery doesn't need my company
You've lived your life
Hope you've enjoyed it
Let me live mine on my terms
I haven't failed me yet
4/16/2017 4:24:24 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.