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All Was In Place (A poem by Josiah Libbey)


And all through the night, Not a palm leaf was stirring
Not a branch nor a feather, Not an eddy was churning
The moon gently shone, O’er a smooth glassy surface
Not a ripple or splash, To disrupt the fair weather
Just beneath, in the crystal clear

Waters there lie, Dozens of shadows
Of convicts gone by, Barely perceptible
Some stripes and a flash, Not really hidden
Amongst the tide-bent rock grass.

The moon and the stars, and the planets aligned
The weather was perfect, There was no better time
With hot bated breath, The wind quietly snored.
It watched and it waited, And waited some more.
They knew we would be there, How could we not?
All was in place, And we knew the spot

This opportune happens only, Once in a blue moon
The next chance we got, Would not be too soon
The hunted would gladly, Have given their life
To be white flaky meat, And crispily fried.
Warm in the company, Of cheese grits and slaw
Swamp cabbage and hushpuppies
And baked beans and all.

But alas and alack, it was not so to be
The hunters were sleeping, Asleep as could be
All of the hunters but one, Who could see
Who knew what a waste,
And how fun it could be.

So the next time it happens, And the stars all align
Opportunity beckons, And you know that it’s time
Don’t give up the chance
Don’t squander the gift
When occasion is knocking, just give it a lift

Because, you never know, When the next chance will arise
Sometimes only once, No wind and dark skies
Take it from a sleepy, Old gigger, and grumpy
The next time that the tides right
The bay may be Lumpy!

*(Explanation: I wrote this one day after not
being able to take advantage of a perfectly
good night for gigging sheep-head. If you
ever had the gigging bug, you will
understand my frustration that night.
Dedicated to my fish gigging buddies,
Jimmy, the best gig boat captain of all time,
Dustin, a true blue sportsman,
And Mary who has never saw a fish too
small to gig. – Josiah Libbey)