Sammi’s Weekender #237 (mudlark)

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Over The Susquehanna River

From New York it winds
nine hundred mudlarkable shoreline miles
through the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic.

Unlike Billy Collins, I fished it,
caught carp, sucker, catfish, perch; swam
polluted waters; climbed and walked
bridges and trestles. I grubbed its mud.

Remember disasters. Before mountains rose.
The Susquehanna is in my blood.

Look both ways when the river flows.
Here it comes, there it goes.
Mind the gaps, the pits, the whirlpools, and vermin.


Poetic license: The Susquehanna River is 444 miles long from New York, flowing through the State of Pennsylvania (where I knew it) into the Chesapeake Bay. Thatโ€™s 888 miles of shoreline. I rounded up. Disasters include the Knox Mine crime, Three Mile Island, pollution and environmental catastrophe on an epic scale, and many devastating floods.

32 thoughts on “Sammi’s Weekender #237 (mudlark)

    1. It took me a while. What a word to challenge us with. Then I had to cut down from 150 words, which I liked mo betta. Time for folks to get here. A cool rainy day for me. Thanks for comp. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which do like mo betta? The longer or shorter version? ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Enjoy your folks. It’s bitterly cold here and the wind is pretty nasty. I’ve forgone my run… for now!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am in the garage writing. They will start to trickle in soon.
        I like both long and short. I do so much research that I have too much information and I try to work it all in.
        All other things being equal (they never are), I find that about 100-150 words works best for me.
        But I have also had people tell me that one stanza within a longer poem is all they needed from a particular piece.
        I like the challenge of low numbers of words. It teaches me the discipline of murdering my darlings. Does anyone really care that the river is millions of years old?
        Stay warm.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s an interesting place to write. (Mind you, my son’s “office” is in the garage ๐Ÿ˜‰ I told him he needs to clear out all his shit as the cold is here and it’s MY garage for MY car… ๐Ÿ˜€
        I love the challenge of low numbers. It really forces us to get to the point and get rid of the “fluff”. Mind you, some fluff is extremely interesting. Like the fact the river is millions of years old.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a good day. Hope y’all had same. They ended up playing a game in the garage. I had it fixed up pretty nice.


    1. Thanks, Sue.
      House guests have taken over other rooms. But the garage was all set up for overflow from our Saturday Thanksgiving crowd. It worked great. Now I am in the kitchen, but I think they all go back home today. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Youโ€™re a good man, Mr Reynolds for cleaning the kitchen! Although great to have family visit, it is exhausting ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you can rest up this week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Funny you should mention โ€œnormalโ€. Iโ€™m thinking thereโ€™s no such thing anymore or maybe we need to find a new word? Is it simply human nature to want consistency in a dynamic world?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. husband and I went kayaking on the susquehanna earlier this fall. Got kayaks at a local rental place that also has tours up a couple sizable creeks that feed into the river. Amazing how much effort it takes to go upstream a mile. Oy, felt that the next day. I think we’re about 9 miles north of TMI. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely narrative and use of the prompt, Bill. I love these lines:

    “I grubbed its mud.”

    “Remember disasters. Before mountains rose.
    The Susquehanna is in my blood.”

    Thanks for teaching me something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the tour. I haven’t had a chance to visit the Susquehanna, but my genealogy research has taken me there many times. My earliest known Rowland ancestors lived on the PA/MD border in Peach Bottom and some went further down river to form Rowlandville near the mouth of the Octoraro.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear about your family history, Ron. I grew up in the northeast part of PA. I had to look up the Octoraro. Looks like a nice place.


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