Monday, December 28, 2015

Swains – revised – v2

Life is more simple
Sitting in my canoe.
Strokes in the water propel me forward.
I chart my course around the cove.
Stress melts away.

The paddle bites into the tawny depths.
Shafts of light illuminate the newborn waves.
Wind and wave push back.
I tack into the breeze.

Muscles turn to the task at hand.
Shoulder and forearm,
Biceps and back, falling to
Familiar work, instinctive in time.
Left, right.
Alternating sides of the hull.
A ribbon of water streams off the feathered blade.

A beaver dives into the cove.
We glide together toward the bridge.
He and I know the way.
Measured distance preserves the spell.

An army of turtles drop into the lake,
Escape their only defense.
Each on their own, a ballet in the water;
A slow elongated dive, glinting in
The reflected light.

Silence in my own little world,
Water, wind, muscle, motion,
Form and function as one.

Panorama of a sunset,
Purple, lilac, amber and gold.
Clouds and pine outline the sky.
Ripples on the water shimmer with the failing light.
The trill of the loon, haunting and pure.

Goldfinch, oriole, grackle join the chorus,
Bullfrog and cricket too.
Heron and osprey soar overhead.
A halo of blackflies silhouetted on the sky.
A fly kisses the surface.

On shore once again,
My canoe back in its place.
Life is simpler, still
After a paddle on Swains.

edited December 28, 2015
Swains – revised – v2

posted February 13, 2004
revised 2/25/2002
Swains – revised
Written May 15, 2000

All of my poems and photographs are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss ( for usage. See all 40,460+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

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