Billfish: Catch & Release

Billfish: Catch & Release Tom Poland Posted 6/19/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI wanted a real-deal Ernest Hemingway long-bill cap to let me see into the depths. One that would shade my Canon’s LCD monitor. One that might impart a bit of writing magic. The cap arrived along with a post...

A Coquina Sunrise

A Coquina Sunrise Tom Poland Posted 6/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netAt first I thought men had poured cement onto the beach. Protection against an encroaching sea, I figured. The waves had scoured it good, brushing tresses into it. I walked south a ways, shaking my head as to how man...

No Damsel In Distress

No Damsel In Distress Tom Poland Posted 5/29/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netLate May, I made one last effort to see the rare rocky shoals spider lilies before they play out. Rain and high water had deviled the flowers and me all spring. Not this time. I made three trips in...

Daddy Had A Worm Farm

Daddy Had A Worm Farm Tom Poland Posted 5/28/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe towns sounded distant, not as miles go, but as memories. Hazlehurst, McRae, Baxley, Soperton, Alma, and Tifton. Tifton meant trouble.I was studying a map for a six-day trek into South Georgia in August. Near a place called...

Hemingway’s Pocket

Hemingway’s Pocket Tom Poland Posted 5/21/2024By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netWe give little thought to our pockets until one gets a hole in it. When it does, it becomes a liability. Well, what’s the history of pockets? When did these bags sewn into pants and jackets become handy for stuffing our...

Monsoons, Dogs, & Drought

Monsoons, Dogs, & Drought Tom Poland Posted 5/20/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netA spring long ago … It rained and rained. And then it rained some more. The rain gauge brimmed and our yard turned quagmire. It rained so long our Boston terriers couldn’t walk. We thought they had tick fever....

Cicadas’ Rise & Fall

Cicadas’ Rise & Fall Tom Poland Posted 5/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netA spring or summer day isn’t quite Southern without singing cicadas and it seems our annual cicadas love the heat of day come summer, singing best during sultry hours. To me, the singsong rise and fall of cicadas, a...

Robert Ariail, Cartoonist

Robert Ariail, Cartoonist Tom Poland Posted 5/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netIn the beginning, there was the urge to draw—and inspiration, Saturday morning cartoons.“I’d drawn since I was a boy, spending hours with crayons, pencils, manila paper, and an Etch A Sketch to render dinosaurs and other creatures. In junior high,...

Fly Down Hill

Fly Down Hill Tom Poland Posted 5/7/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI reached deep into my sense of place and reckoned the road ought to come out near Anthony Shoals Road, and it did. My parents drove me over that road when a boy. It was a dirt road then, and...

Troubadour Of The Night

Troubadour Of The Night Tom Poland Posted 4/29/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThree a.m. I looked out my bedroom window to see eyes aglow with foxfire. I could not see its head, its mouth, but from it came the sweetest, most melancholy song. Just like that I was so lonely I...

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part II

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part II Every state needs a Brian Brown Tom Poland Posted April 19, 2024By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netGeorgia’s a big state and the road from home can be long and winding. Brian Brown knows it well.“Being invited to stay in some of the historical homes I...

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part I

Brian Brown’s Vanishing Georgia, Part I Every state needs a Brian Brown Tom Poland Posted April 19, 2024By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThere’s another Georgia out there—a weathered, sun-bleached, fading Georgia. It nonetheless possesses the “beauty of decay” as one photographer put it. People caught up in the hectic rush pay...

Predicting The Weather

Predicting The Weather Tom Poland Posted 3/8/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netSeems the TV weather guys get it wrong more often than right. Nor do they predict the same forecast. As one fellow put it, “If you don’t like the weather forecast, try another station.”I bring up radar of the Southeast...

Remembering Cale Yarborough

Remembering Cale Yarborough Tom Poland Posted 2/14/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netThe breaking news alert held just 29 words.“Cale Yarborough, a NASCAR great, dies at 84. Known for his fierce toughness and grit, Mr. Yarborough won the Daytona 500 four times and the Southern 500 five times.”His death brought back memories...

A New Backroad Magazine

Backroad Portfolio A New Backroad Magazine Tom Poland Posted 2/12/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.net You cannot raise your ancestors from their grave, but you can appreciate how they lived. Just take a backroad deep into the countryside and perchance turn onto a dirt road. You’ll see old farms and their...

First Taste of Blackstrap Molasses

First Taste of Blackstrap Molasses Tom Poland Posted 2/9/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netMid 1950s, early morning on the farm, it was. Rivers of gold ran down the stack of pancakes on the old oak table. Butter pooled higher and higher and I expected it to spill onto the old table...

Broomstraw Brooms

Broomstraw Brooms Tom Poland Posted 2/7/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netI call it broomstraw. Others broomsedge. Whatever you call it, it doesn’t kill my memories of my grandmother’s homemade brooms. About a yardstick long, they stood in corners throughout the house. That made them handy. They were simple. They were effective....

When the Border Boys Were Young

When the Border Boys Were Young Tom Poland Posted 2/5/24By Tom PolandA Southern Writerwww.tompoland.nettompol@earthlink.netBefore the photos, Robert Clark had been photographing architecture for ten years. I had been writing scripts for documentaries. Much earlier, during a teaching stint, I submitted a paper to an academic journal. That earned me an...