Timothy Pilgrim, poet

by Timothy Pilgrim
  Out of Montana, for good
Condos rented on the Blackfoot, cabins
up the Swan, outsiders stomp grass
along the wrong river, seldom see
cutthroat glow red, take on brilliance, 
flash past a Black Ghost, dive deep,
wait, not feed. They invade taverns, 
belly up to bar, drink with locals,
buy good bourbon, beer, boast of SUVs, 
past raft trips, their gear. They lie
to pry secrets — how, when, where
to fish. We don’t say, the Bitterroot,
Lolo, Rock Creek, all of them great —
it’s not price of rod, line, which fly. 
You must think like a fish, creep
silent through tall grass, stay
way back. Fish narrow water, cast fly
to lupine on the far bank. Tug,
make it fall helpless, struggle,
float to the riffle — easy prey
for trout undulating in shade. 
We drink their booze, tell them,
Take the bad fork, follow wide path 
through pine. Wear orange, bright red,
lime. Stay near the road, fish
wide, shallow water, stand close. 
Best to arrive at noon, day after
full moon. We hope they do, 
whip blue sky, snap off flies, no fish
strike. Lines tangle in brush, 
they give up, return to their rigs,
drink, sleep. Dream of Wyoming, 
the rainbow there huge, eager to bite. 
Montana, forget it, not worth
the time — rivers, all fishless, water,
clear, cold, running too deep.
                             Timothy Pilgrim


Montana stream










     (published by Cascadia Rising Review -- copyrighted Timothy Pilgrim photo: Montana stream in mountains above Wise River  

Timothy Pilgrim, a native of Montana and retired university journalism professor living in Bellingham, Wash., is a Pacific Northwest poet and 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee. His poems have been accepted more than 500 times by journals such as Toasted Cheese, Mad Swirl, Cirque, Santa Ana River Review, Windsor Review, Hobart, Otoliths and Prole Press in the U.S. Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. He is the author of Mapping water and Seduced by metaphor: Timothy Pilgrim collected published poems, which the back cover calls “a 10 on any Richter imagination scale.”