Autumn drummed the turning leaves
with icy rain the day we packed,
sent geese scattering, while
youthful Kirtlands, newly fletched,
began their journey to
the Bahamas without dere mamas
Robochef and I
packed the Greenstreamer Sub
for Fish Head,
a camp named
for Vietnamese soup,
or Ozarkian tablefare,
We have enough streamers
to juryrig a blankie for a mastodon,
reluctantly packed warm-weather clothes
knowing full well that snow
was spitting up in Grayling,
how the white moisture sometimes seeks us out.
Ordinarily we pack
with giddy hearts, but this time
we all traveled under a gloom
wrought Sept 11.
Terrorists would have us
cower in our basements,
but we choose to sally forth to live,
seeking the light of day,
ignoring for a moment
the darkness sent by
maniacs preaching piety,
and trading stocks to make
money off the same infidelian companies
Another lesson in no meaning in means, only ends.
Not a praying man, I would Nevertheless say this to God
Or whomsoever might deign to listen:
You see here by this fire tonight
a cross section of America, where
we are all from somewhere else,
blending ourselves in friendship
and fellowship, focusing not on differences
but on those things
we have in common:
to chase trout in beautiful places
where rivers murmur soft hymns.
We need only listen to drink
in the sounds and be nurtured.
Many of us gathered here
have seen enough violence to have
reached a hoped-for lifetime allotment,
But now we face more.
Futures aside, these next few days
we will carry on,
laughing and swapping tales,
manufacturing lies about what we catch
and miss, eating heartily,
drinking too much, learning from
each other and treasuring
the individual, living the very life
the bombers condemn.
In this way
we will recreate America,
live by the values that bind us,
values no hate-filled stone-killers
can steal or deny.
I say raise your glass to those who died
in innocence or with brave final actions.
To Life, Americans, to Life.
Let us now take a moment of silence to
Pray to the power that guides us,
No matter the name we assign. ~ Joe Heywood