Poet, photographer and publisher, The Jaguar

Catch 21



Alan L Goodin


I retired in 1999 and moved to Mexico.  I love to fish and finally settled in Puerto Escondito, a small fishing village on the Pacific Ocean.  After a few weeks of learning my way around the beaches, watching the Mexican fishermen, getting myself a new fishing pole I began fishing almost every day, sitting in a green plastic chair on the beach under an umbrella, promoting Corona beer from the back of my chair. This was great and after I found, what I call my Secret Spot, “Hogar del Pez.” I began to catch more than my limit, 12 fish per person, so I bought an ice cooler and filled it with fish and put a sign on it, “Fish for Sale or Trade. I had it made, all morning to catch fish and by noon had usually sold half my catch and had enough fish for comida and the others to trade for mangos and a couple of cold beers. It was great but I wanted more, not more fish, but the solitude of the sea. I bought a small sailboat for about $1000 pesos.

In less than three months I’d found a really great hole to catch Dorado, a tasty white, salt-water fish. In fact, the fishing was so good I bought that little boat.  Most of the time I had more fish than I could eat so some days I just sat in the boat and wrote little stories, poems and read Neruda’s poems.

It was quiet, healthy and I was very happy and I always caught my limit, if I wanted to. One warm balmy morning, I was sitting in my boat, newly christened, Hogar del Dorado, and writing about a beautiful girl, Linda, who traded me mangos for Dorado. Then I heard, “Hey Señor.” I looked up to see a non-tanned Gringo looking down at me then at my boat, checking her out bow to stern, then eyeing the sails. Smiling, he nodded approvingly then said, “Señor, how much to take me fishing for four hours?”

I said, “Five hundred pesos plus twelve more for each beer.” His smile grew and we shook hands.  We set out to my favorite place and dropped anchor. The Gringo looked around and somewhat smugly asked why I had chosen this particular spot.  “Because this is where the Dorado live,” and went back to reading. In less than four hours the Gringo had caught twenty-one Dorado.

Sitting back, very lazy, under my Panama hat, munching on fresh shrimp and sipping mezcal, I sensed the Gringo staring at me.  I pushed my hat back a little and looked up at him. Staring intensely at me, and then cocking one knowing eye while raising his eye brow, he looked around the empty ocean, as if to see if anyone was listening and then back into my eyes.

Looking around one more time, leaned forward and whispered, “Hey Dude, this is awesome.  You know you could make a lot of money doing this if you’d listen to me.”

“Si, I’m always interested in making a lot of money.” I yawned and opened the ice chest, uncapped a frosty Corona, smiled and handed it to him.  “Señor.  Por favor, go on.”

“Well the way I see it, if you had twenty boats like this and charged 500 pesos for a half-day and $100 pesos for each hour more, why you could pay off all the boats in one year, retire and…”

“And what Señor?  Move to Mexíco and fish all day?”

I heard his reel spinning knowing he’d just hooked Catch Twenty-Two.


Loves Never Rides Alone  © 2010


Alan L. Goodin

Galloping thoughts of

                Just you and me

                Shoot though the mist

                Of cactus and trees.

                Riding on stallions

                Across golden ranges

                Through a sycamore breeze

                Under long loping branches

                where tree’s kiss the leaves.

                Leaping through rivers

awash in you dew

                Where warm tender moments

                Are thoughts about you.

We enter places

so intimate so new.

                If this is heaven

                my faith is renewed

                Now you’re burning

I’m boiling in you,

This time is so precious,

                                our hearts holding hands,

                                our hearts in our eyes

                                our eyes reaching out,

                                For just the right words,

                                A glance saying yes

                                A yes meaning now,

                And now brought your sighs.

                Relax-relax now my love

 lay back in the saddle

Our joy has been spent

And now we’re reborn

We know what it meant

Bring on life’s clock

                The ticking, the talk

Oh yes, talk, not of tock

But not of what spent

But rather of trails

We’ve left to invent

The gate she is open

My lips seek the skies

Don’t think this ridin’ is over

We not  said bye

And only for hours

A day at the most

I’ll ride side by side

My tongue combs you coat

My passion my love

Is making you scream

Out in your joy

Of the places you’ve been.

                Oh passions and sighs

                Promises, in past tense

You filled my great dream

When first was your sigh

and then came your scream

and leap, up over the sky and

                landscapes of gold

                Only to duplicate again

                On the horizons of

                Warm azure nights

                Under silver moon spotlights

                Lighting the dreams

                Two people have made.

                Warms days in meadows embracing

                Green leaves of spring in

                Laces of swirling passions

                Licked by the sun’s tongue and

                Hot solar winds

                Of steaming fires

                Aglow with our heat

                Welding together the arms

                Of giving and taking

                And words set to music

                In songs born of joy,

                In dews of sweet sounds,

                Speaking so soft,

                I speak them to you

                We dance in the orgy

                The tones of B sharp

                Then once, when the music is in you ,

                C major, B flat, I am D molished

                The gallop is back

                The song in our key

                We ride through the spring

                Take what love brings,

                Move on, ride on, ride into

                Sweet days of summer

                Exploding in honey,

                The hives of our lives

                Shaking our souls

                the buzz of excitement.

                Sweet labor of love,

                All placed at its door

                Open, inviting to taste,

                Capture my burning tongue

                Melt my heart,

                Give me the sweetest of dews

                Of long days and nights

                Nights under bright stars, mantle of God

                I share what I am

                I give you my hands, cross

                The naked table of land.

                The mustangs of ecstasy,

                Leaping out of corrals that

                Imprison fast-racing hearts on

                Escaping hoofs-beats on winds

                Whistling through canyons of dreams

                Past mountains of love,

                The mountains of life

                Through trees turning gold.

                Riding through pastures

                Long dried by summers’ hot sun

                And roaming the ranges of time

                Where gray herds have past,

                Slowing, to smell the old scents that

                Others have left, faded tracks,

                Blown away in yesterday’s wind

                Over the now gold meadow lands,


                Over old streambeds of thoughts,

                Now dry and alone


                                One rider has left.

A. Goodin [re: Mar 05]


Adobe Tears


Anti-colonial eyes stare through ghostly shadows,

up red towers searching for God in belfries

through adobe-colored dust

blown down narrow,  snake-like calles

below red-tiled roofs that shade

carpenters, potters, painters, writers

and Indian weavers avoiding the sun’s rays

melt the daydreams that mask

the pueblos hopes

hidden behind their simple smiles.

Wondering brown eyes, reading

in ten thousand zocalos,

outstretched Mexicano hands

pray for a peso across the reddish-brown,

forgotten belly of America.

Ancient Indios,

learned native people with timeless crafts,

dying, struggling under too much weight

like starving burros stumbling

up and down steep cobblestones and muddy trails

day by day to flee

the cruel poverty of yesterday’s flowers

only to smell the stench of mananas dead bouquets

blown under this morning’s door.

God-forsaken religious land,

riddled with churches

people consumed with crosses

in a land of Santos and Virgens

offer small streams of hope,

only to be washed away in a deluge of sadness,

punctuated by the gleam in a child’s eyes

set upon a melting ice cream cone.

Talk to me, adobe towns,

with your clay of mud and blood,

rouged walls of whispers, screams and dreams

in pueblos twice as poor as a potter’s field.

Listen to me, adobe walls of government,

thick with blood and sweat,

deflecting tears and cries

that escape the hungry people.

Rejoice with me, adobe people,

concealed behind twin masks

of Spanish and Aztecan history:

         Eagle, Snake, Diablo, Dios.

The people wait for history to meander,

their bandera to unfold

into the red, white and green

sea of democracy and embrace

the children born of Coffee, Corn and Cocoa.

                Dia de Independencia, 2000

                Alan L. Goodin

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