Fish in a Barrel by Robert Cory

imageA couple hours of daylight remained

as we navigated dusty Kiowa County roads.

Our destination: a tree lined, stream-fed fishing lake

with a scatter of pools and ponds.

Rod and reel in hand, I tagged along

or, rather, was led to one small pool in particular.

For bait, leftover corn from the supper table.

At this shade-choked spot nearly blind to the face of a west sun

I baited my hook as instructed and, from experience,

trusted to luck.

But, no time at all had passed when they struck.

Again, again and again. Those carp. Catch. Release.

Catch another. Combative. One broke my line.

Demonstrative as born-again mosquitoes.

~ Robert Cory

Robert Cory: Born in Missouri, Robert Cory was raised, schooled and has worked in Kansas most of his life. Dependably wearing out shoe leather, tires, molars and ego trips. His most recent work has appeared. He’s been writing poetry since age fourteen, plays since 1968.

Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, Sport Literate, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013. His work has received two Pushcart Prize nominations.


Related to Deciduous Trees by Robert Cory

imageAs the sun assumes its seasonal slump

forecasts of frost revive. Repressed reflections

trail the scatter of autumn leaves, set free.

Anonymous arrays of contorted tumblers,

nomadic as Kansas tumbleweeds,   

perennially sown across the landscape.

Synonymous bareback riders of planet Earth

drifting like Dust Bowl migrants

in land of too little or too much.

Swept up in the spirit of let go.

~ Robert Cory

Bio: Born in Missouri, Robert Cory was raised, schooled and has worked in Kansas most of his life. Dependably wearing out shoe leather, tires and ego trips in his quest for Aufklärung. His most recent work has appeared in Kansas Poems & Poets. In addition, The Euonia Review, vox poetica, The Catalonian Review, Poets Against War and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature have published his work. In March, 2013, his poem Exodus: redux, was awarded first place in the Kansas Writer’s Association free verse competition.

Guest editor Eric McHenry’s new book of poems, Odd Evening, will be published by Waywiser Press in 2016. His previous collections include Potscrubber Lullabies, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 2007, and Mommy Daddy Evan Sage, a children’s book illustrated by Nicholas Garland. He also edited and introduced Peggy of the Flint Hills, a memoir by Zula Bennington Greene. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, Field, Orion, The Guardian (U.K.), Poetry Daily and Poetry Northwest, from whom he received the 2010 Theodore Roethke Prize. Since 2001, he has been a poetry critic for The New York Times Book Review. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and two children and teaches creative writing at Washburn University.