In keeping with selling the cottage, I found a couple of poems that kind of relate. The first is called ‘Lake Winnipeg’ by Nan Emerson’s book Windsong and other verse that I mentioned from my last poetry post. Since our cottage was in a resort area on the banks of Lake Winnipeg, it seemed appropriate.
I can hear the waters talking:
Have they secrets, they whisper,
Whisper, whisper as they lap upon the shore.
I can hear their lazy murmur:
‘Ripple, ripple I am gentle.
Come and lie upon my bosom,
I will hold you soft and buoyant;
Catch and hold the sunbeams for you.
I am warm and I am sparkling.
Play with me quite close to shore.’
More persuasive grows the whisper:
‘Come a-swimming, come a-boating,
Come a-sailing far from shore.
I will toss my waves so gladly,
Little white-capped waves so merry,
I will dip and rock you safely.
I will take you swiftly, gaily.
Trust me, I am ever kindly.
I will lull you into dreaming.
Have no fear, come far and farther.
They are cowards who say beware.’
But the whispering voice grows deeper
And the ripples change to breakers
And the water’s voice to roaring.
‘See, my waves rise high and higher.
Rolling, tumbling on the shore.
They who trust me — I destroy them,
Dash to pieces all the sailboats,
Clutch them, toss them, hide forever
Those who trust me ‘neath my waters.
Swimmers lie upon my pebbles;
Bones there are among by boulders;
Fishes dart and play among them.
Ships I take lie bleached and broken.
And I laugh when in my rages;
Laugh aloud while gulls are screaming;
Shout and roar while winds are howling.
I’m the king of all the waters!
Then again I’ll coax and beckon.
Then again with gentle ripple
Little waves will woo and sparkle;
Come a-sailing, come a-swimming.
I’ve no secrets — though I whisper.
They are cowards who will not trust me.
They are fools who say beware.’
While it sounds rather harsh, the poem makes the point that, with Lake Winnipeg, you need to be careful. There are points along its beaches where a severe undertow has drowned even the strongest swimmers. On a personal note, it claimed the life of the teenaged son of one of my parents’ friends. Lake Winnipeg is very much like an ocean with strong currents and sudden winds that can come up abruptly, whipping the waves into a frenzy that can easily overturn small craft. As you can see with the accompanying photos, the lake can be rather harsh. When my daughter got married, the wind was quite strong and the waves were high. Lake Winnipeg has been notorious for sinking ships, especially during the fur trade years when the lake was the main route to Lower Fort Garry and the Upper Fort at the Forks. Despite all that, on a hot summer day when the wind is calm, its cool water can be a pleasant relief. When I was young, the sand was a fine white powder and before the hydro dam was built at the northern mouth of the lake, there used to be sand bars that stretched out a great distance. That’s not the case, anymore. Last fall saw at least 20 feet of the banks washed away by high water and wicked waves.
Now, for something completely different, a poem by Robert Louis Stephenson called ‘Farewell to the Farm’ from his book A Child’s Garden of Verses. I will only post the first two stanzas, which reminded me of saying goodbye to our family’s summer home:
The coach is at the door at last;
The eager children, mounting fast
And kissing hands, in chorus sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!
To house and garden, field and lawn,
The meadow-gates we swang upon,
To pump and stable, tree and swing,
Good-bye, good-bye to everything!
Well, Poetry Month is coming to a close, so this might be the last time I post a poem, unless the muse moves me or I come across one I really like. There were a few sites that I follow that posted some great poetry. I did enjoy reading what wantoncreation had to say about poetry and learned a lot about different types of poems, thanks to him. C. B. Wentworth posted some lovely poems along with picture prompts. Diane Dickson has also posted some nice poems during the month. If anyone is interested in reading them, just click on their names. 🙂
For those who have been searching for sites participating in the poetry challenge, which one(s) did you find posted the most satisfying poetry?