A Paumanok Picture

Walt Whitman

Two boats with nets lying off the sea-beach, quite still,
  Ten fishermen waiting--they discover a thick school of mossbonkers
      --they drop the join'd seine-ends in the water,
  The boats separate and row off, each on its rounding course to the
      beach, enclosing the mossbonkers,
  The net is drawn in by a windlass by those who stop ashore,
  Some of the fishermen lounge in their boats, others stand
      ankle-deep in the water, pois'd on strong legs,
  The boats partly drawn up, the water slapping against them,
  Strew'd on the sand in heaps and windrows, well out from the water,
      the green-back'd spotted mossbonkers.

Paumanok is the old Native American name for Long Island, where Walt Whitman was born. The Mossbonker (better known as Mossbunker, Menhaden or Pogie)  is a fish about the size of a common carp. They swarm in schools and sometimes get caught in shallow bays and by beaches when trying to escape from predators.