Canoe Poems, Rhymed

(for them people as likes rhymed poems and canoes both)


Forgive me, I was born

Where cries of loon are torn

From the dark heart of the lakes

Onshore, crows fly black

Calling for sacrifices, but I lack

The certainty that data makes

Forgive me, I have been

Only what I seemed


In a dew-wet tent

I've let out howls

That shook the owls

When they found out what I meant

Pour coffee on the ground

Pull the canoe around

Stir the ashes into dust

I do what I must

Forgive me, for I am I


The measured heart
Of the planet beats
Time is a tide
That never retreats

On Buzzard Lake
In the curling noon
The world turns
Too late, too soon

I am a son
Of the very last day
Carefully I threw
It all away

You, a daughter
Of worn brown rock
Casually drowning
Grandfather clock

The lake is shameless
In wind and light
We paddle against
The fall of night

What I’d like for Christmas gifts
I’m not that tough to please
I’ve always got a lengthy list
So set your mind at ease

Some days, always downwind
Out past known and known
A lake beyond a range of hills
Where we can be alone

A campsite by the water’s edge
Firewood plenty and dry
A loon to watch us paddle in
A couple of fish to fry

A full moon to... oh dear!
Why the heavy sigh?
I really need... some warmer gloves
And... of course another tie

(For Florida canoers)

When they ask, " did he truly live?"
You can laugh, and say
Why, of course; he's canoed
Some rivers down our way

Stranded, stubbed, stilled, and struck
Educated by "stobs"
(Imagine some choice Canadian words
Commenting on those knobs)

Now he's back where waters
Are often solid blocks
And most of his canoeing
Is watching out for rocks

But he'll remember white sand banks
And spooky azure springs
The sudden sight of gator
And the primal chill it brings

So, of course he's lived a bit
Check out his Florida smile
He found a bit of southern magic
If only for a while


My River

All that I have ever done
Is lost in endless river run
And all that I would ever be
Moves, stubbornly, to the sea

When I’ve had too much of if and when
And the nattering of people who ought to know
I look for the peace of turn and flow
And move with the river, my river, again

When too many choices surround my brain
Touching the currents redeems my mind
Straightens my kinks where the smooth waters wind
And I launch a canoe on my river again

I gather treasures from the old canoe
Some well-known shores, one favorite tree
So the river becomes a part of me
But I am part of this river, too

All that I have ever done
Is lost in endless river run
All that I would ever be
Is part of my river’s mystery


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