A couple more poems

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.

Lake Winnipeg

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.

A Child's Garden of Verses

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?

More poetry

Since it is still Poetry Month, I decided to make another post on that theme. Normally I would post this on Sunday, but I will be pretty busy getting ready for and hosting my writer’s group tomorrow, so you will get to see this early!

I came across a few more poems that I wrote awhile ago. They’re not great, but I thought I’d share them anyway. The first is:

THE ADDICT

Please can you forgive me
When all I can see
Are ghosties and ghoulies
And all sorts of foolies
And things that go bump in the night?

The things that I love
Are the flights up above,
Aliens, space ships
And fantastic night trips.
I read them constantly.

Along with those things,
I like dragons with wings,
Princesses and sword fights,
Wizards and white knights,
And anything strange or bizarre.

As you may have guessed
(And this isn’t a test)
My affliction, addiction,
Is for speculative fiction
Of which there is never enough.

I guess that is why
I gave it a try
And wrote down some of my own!

a digital image created by my son

I think I wrote this back when I first started writing seriously. It’s a silly little piece, but was a fun way to let you know some of my favourite genres to read and write.

This next one, I had running through my head as I tried to get to sleep one night. I had to get up and write it down or I’d never get any peace! I can’t quite remember what prompted me to write it. Perhaps it was an incident at work, or a show I watched about how parents sometimes don’t realize the affect they are having on their kids. It doesn’t have a title:

Parents argue.
Who cares?
Parents fight
Are they aware?
Small eyes open wide with fear
Angry words small ears will hear.

Swear words
Bite and sting.
Nasty words
Spoil everything.
Small minds begin to learn.
Small hearts begin to yearn

For silence.

Nan Emerson

While clearing out my parents’ house, I came across one of my grandmother’s books, ‘Wind-song and Other Verses’, copyright 1957 printed by Hignell Printing Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba), a book of poetry written by a friend of hers – Nan Emerson.

Nan, her husband and my grandparents used to winter in Laguna Beach, California, so many of her poems reflect the scenery found down there. I doubt many have heard of her because she was published locally, but I was really surprised to find her book listed on Amazon! A couple of her poems really appealed to me.

The first, INSPIRATION, strikes at the very heart of poetry writing:

There’s a poem somewhere near
And it’s seeking help from me:
It is trying to find words
That will set its spirit free

If I listen with my soul
And my mind keeps very still
I can hear the rhythm start
Like the trickling of a rill.

If I listen with my heart
To the undertones of rhyme
It may swell out into thoughts
And to words that I call mine.

Within the pages of the poetry book, I found a sheet of stationary with her married name and address. On the back was a typewriter-written poem with her name beneath it, dated 1965. The poem is called FRIENDSHIP and made me think of my close friends with whom I have similar feelings:

Sitting alone in a garden
With the quiet hills nearby
And the shimmer of blue Pacific
Reaching out to the edge of the sky,
And the flowers all around me:
Too much beauty to comprehend.
Too much for one soul to garner
And I longed for a dear, dear friend.

A friend who could sit beside me
And share in the garden’s delight,
Or walk with me by the ocean;
Lift with me in the sea bird’s flight.
We would not need to be talking.
Just a glance and a touch of the hand
But she would feel as I would feel
The joy of the sea and the sand.

File:Sunset on the Charles.jpg

She would share with me the pull of the tide.
We’d watch the red sun sinking low
And we would share the rapture
‘Til the last faint afterglow.
For a friend is one who doubles the joy
And halves the sorrow she shares;
Keeps us cherished and safe and warm in her heart
And carries our griefs in her prayers.

I feel fortunate to have many ‘dear, dear’ friends that I can say double the joy and half the sorrow, like the one mentioned in the poem. I’m hope they know how special they are to me.

Do you have friends that make you feel this way? I hope you all have many. 🙂