Thursday, May 7, 2009

Prose: six day hike

Backgrounder: “More from ‘backpack canoe.’ I’ll attach a photo from Lake Superior if I can find one with the right mood - one that relates to beautiful scenery and sore shoulders.” gaharrison

six day hike

sun’s last ray
darkly shadowing
ragged jack pine
and steel black rock,
caught my eye
at eve,

trek weary from climbing
Superior’s steep shore,
the rolled bed
and stale bread
dropped from my back;
I did not wish
to ever leave.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prose: North of Wiarton

Backgrounder: “This is another piece from ‘backpack canoe’, a small booklet of prose, introduced earlier with ‘Lion’s Head Parts 1 and 2. I bought 2.75 acres of land north of Wiarton many years ago and sold it to a friend two years ago. Since selling the land, I’ve visited the area to help him survey, clear and build upon the land, and will take him up on his invitation to use his cabin any time. The Bruce peninsula is a magical place.” gaharrison

north of Wiarton

last year’s crew
banded together again -
explored, discovered
the peninsula’s hidden coves
secret cedar shores;

voices grew quieter
as city thoughts
well-worn habits
slid away unnoticed,
as wider gazes
fresher smiles
grew commonplace.

the bruce pen’s crisp skies
cool stout breezes
swept us home -
to canvas tents, hot fires
and close companions.



Sunday, May 3, 2009

Prose: Childhood Memories - Thin times in a small town

Backgrounder: “I mention a few lessons, in my next column (May 6), that my mother tried to teach me when I was a young boy. I think, by looking back, I jogged a few other memories too. The following prose was written just a few minutes ago.” gaharrison

thin times in a small town

where did she find
the money, that young mother
of mine, for the brand new
red CCM bicycle for
my birthday?

my brother and three sisters
never thought or felt
our family was poor.
but we knew -
if we wanted something -
we had better be prepared
to work for it.

God, what a good lesson
to learn as a young boy.

My dad had me try
one or two used bikes.
Tim Body’s didn’t fit me well
and it was hard to pedal.
I would have worked hard
for something better.

But, on my birthday,
after opening a few presents,
my mother told me
I wasn’t done yet
and said I should look
behind a tall bookcase
that hid the front door
from where I stood.

I looked and,
quite unexpectedly,
fell in love with
my new red bike.



I lovingly tip my hat to the wee girl whose father died young, who never had her own new red bike.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Prose: Lion’s Head Part 2

[Please read Pt 1 and backgrounder below for context]

Lion’s Head Part 2

later, stinging smoke
brushed our faces
as newly collected timber
odds and ends
caught a stubborn flame
and cold pale hands
held tin mugs of broth
close to the chin.

the driving rain
the roar and crash
of the nearby shore
and clothes like heavy damp sacks
made us thankful for
some small shelter
on a formidable coast.

we seemed so fragile
against the immediate power
of wind and rain
at Lion’s Head.