From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 26, Spring 1985: The Ten Rules of Fishing

Excerpt from “The Ten Rules of Fishing”
                               By Lisa Masumoto

. . .

           But there was one thing that Kelly enjoyed more than her grandmother's songs and dances, and that was going fishing with Grandma. Kelly always said that Grandma had such a neat way of fishing.
           Kelly loved to go fishing with her grandma under any conditions. Grandma always took precautions that Kelly thought were sometimes unnecessary. That was the only thing that Kelly disliked about the fishing routine. She felt a little bit uncomfortable because Grandma's equipment was kind of strange. It consisted of bandaids, shoes with big grips, gloves, a raft, two towels, and a toilet seat cover to sit on so that she wouldn't get poked by any sharp rocks. Grandma also dressed a little bit outrageous. When she was at home, she dressed nicely but when she went fishing, she dressed so poorly. Sometimes she even wore her green pants, orange shirt, blue shoes and brown socks. It was really embarrassing for Kelly because she got noticed faster with her grandmother wearing uncoordinated clothes.
           Grandma also cut her hair a lot. She usually cut it really short and above her neck and ears so that she didn't constantly have to comb it and push it out of her face. Sometimes Kelly actually thought that the deep red that Grandma usually colored her hair scared the fish away.
But regardless of the things she took, the way she dressed, and her hair, Grandma was a great fisherwoman. She could put on her bait just right, feel the slightest bite, snag a fish that was in her sight, win the biggest fish at a fight and, of course, take off her fish without tearing the gills.
          For some reason Grandma always threw the fish back. Kelly never understood it. She spent so much time preparing to catch the fish and when she finally caught one, she would throw it back.
One day while they were fishing, Kelly asked her grandma, “Why do you always throw the fish back after you catch it?”
           Grandma replied, “Well, Kelly, as soon as the line goes down in the water, all of the fishes fight over the bait. The winner usually is the one that gets the bait and also the one who gets hooked. Does the winner deserve to be killed and eaten? It is just like in real life. When you and your brother fight, the right one usually wins. Therefore, the right one doesn't deserve to be punished, does he?”
           Kelly never realized what that meant until she was about six years old. It was funny how Grandma could always relate her lessons to fishing. Sometimes Grandma would go a little overboard with her lessons and really push them too hard, but Kelly knew it was just because Grandma loved her and was trying to start Kelly off right.
           Kelly amazingly remembered all ten of Grandma's lessons,
or rules, as Grandma called them. The first of them was the
one about throwing the fish back into the water.
           The second rule was always making sure that you securely put on the bait. If you put it on tightly once, then you wouldn't need to do it again.
           Rule number three was to always be careful. Grandma
always told Kelly that if she was careless and didn't watch
out for herself, she would fall and get hurt.
           Another rule was to fight those fish. Grandma once said, “If you ever come across a big fish that you get caught in a fight with, don't let him pull you around, you pull him around.”
           Rule five was to be generous. To receive the bites and nibbles from the fish, you have to be generous with the bait. The amount you give is the amount you receive.
           Number six was to accept what you receive. No fish is perfect and not all will be exactly how you wanted. You have to learn to take the good and the bad, too.
           Rule seven was to work for what you want. If you want to catch a fish you've got to work for it and put on the bait, sit there and wait for a bite. People who don't work, don't get.
           Rule eight was to share. If you found a spot where all of the biggest fishes were, and caught ten already, share it with a friend or even a stranger and let that person have the satisfaction of catching something.
           Number nine was to be patient. You wouldn't get anywhere if you waited for only five minutes for a fish to bite at your hook and expect a fish to come swimming up.
You have to give them time because if you don't wait, you
won't get anywhere.
           Rule ten was to never give up. If at once you don't succeed, try and try again. It was those ten rules that helped Kelly out so much. . . .

Bio: After she finished high school, Lisa hoped to become a doctor.

* * * * *

Language Barrier
                               By Lisa Horiuchi

With opalescent eyes and a dead mask
You wield your instrument like the weapon it is:
A six-string machine gun
Tearing up a roomful of ears.
Mine are the only ones that hear beyond
The dull thud of your rapid fire.

Your song is a warrior trudging through bitter snow —
Eastern moons and shangri-las of the mind.
First a faint winter dream,
Your trills become frost-bitten cries.
The rumble of bass thunder
From the Aryan depths of your soul
Weaves through the blind crowd,
Leaving a cover of thick mist for me to float through.
Your solo rises and falls, breathing in its own
Alien yet vaguely familiar rhythm
In time with the pulse of my vein.

The razor-tipped climax draws blood, as you expected,
Then stumbles back down, head-over-heels,
Drowning in the blissful oblivion of
Muddy rhythm guitar.
Cool flames of concentration are etched on your face while
Steel-on-steel carves hairline grooves in your fingertips,
Then there is only Ecstasy and your song is

Your lips part but you struggle with my language
And cast empty shells on a European shore,
Windblown whispers I no longer even try
To grope for.

I need an Anthem;
Let me hear once more your tales
Of great-white speed and ethereal chimes.
I hand you the battered weapon again.
I beg you in the absence of pleading eyes,
In the company of an expressionless face and
A half-empty heart that must be filled
With your foreign moons
Or a Hamburg rain.

Bio: Lisa Horiuchi liked to write, sketch, and play guitar and tennis. She planned “to pursue creative writing and music” at UCLA.

Mahalo for reading!

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