Monday, June 22, 2009

I Could Search the World Over

Backgrounder: "An older friend of mine almost didn't make it out of the hospital recently, so I wrote a song for "next time." I'm pretty sure there will be a next time for him and all my other friends. And when I search for them - they'll be somewhere else." gaharrison

I Could Search the World Over

1. I could search the world over but won’t find my friend.
I could search from the front door and right to the end.
I am sad to be told that he’s gone from the land.
I could search the world over but I won’t find my friend.

2. The thoughts of my friend fill up my head.
I wish in his place it was me who was dead.
I feel in my mind it was too quick an end.
I could search the world over but I won’t find my friend.

3. I will look to the heavens and call out his name.
And from a high hill he will answer the same.
He will show me the place where he lays down his head.
He will tell me we’re brothers and that he’s not dead.

4. We will sing as we did when we were both young.
We will dance to the music from dusk until dawn.

We will clap both our hands and raise up a cheer.
We never lose good friends and those we hold dear.

5. I could search the world over but I won’t find my friend.
I must look to the heavens where he lives to the end.
* We lose and we win in the wink of an eye.
We never lose good friends they wait but on high. (* repeat)


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prose: backpack canoe: conclusion - ‘North Tea reflections’

Backgrounder: “Three days and nights on North Tea gave birth to countless memories. When our group gets together to talk about past trips the stories spill out of us in handfuls, like beans from a burlap sack.” gaharrison

North Tea reflections

coffee in the morning
has a heightened taste
brought to boil
over an open flame.

after a sound sleep
on a pine needle mattress
cold clean water cuts
short the morning dip.

tarp water is turned aside
by a hastily dug
shallow trench
around my tent.

adult loons
patient and protective
are wise diving instructors
for their eager young.

wooden box crappers
havens for hardy mosquitoes
open to the elements
and passing paddlers.

crows as big as barns
chatter loudly for hours
to pass the time
in the treetops.

chicken noodle soup
four for a dollar
a satisfying noon meal
on a cool rock bench.

fajitas, steaks, salads,
store-bought lasagna
catch jealous eyes
and take the culinary prize.

on warm evenings
we scout for moose we tip canoes
and lanterns left in trees
guide stragglers home.

Catch more posts at It Strikes Me Funny by G. Harrison


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Prose: backpack canoe, more than a trilogy part 3 - ‘moose at Manitou’

Backgrounder: “While camping near North Tea Lake in Algonquin Park several years ago I saw my first moose. Don tried to shoot it (with his camera) but lost his balance and camera equipment during the process. I wrote about the event and still describe moose as very agile for their size.” gaharrison

moose at Manitou

first lone moose
spotted near a cedar shore
head visible above water
leisurely tearing leaves
from a fallen branch.
the canoes drifted too close
and the moose soon bolted
on long black legs
into safe scrub brush.

second sighting, on Manitou Lake
huge muscular unassuming beasts
perhaps near-sighted
but so alert -
twitching ears caught every sound.
two stood knee deep
in long marsh grass
five canoes, silent, still,
approach cautiously
‘til the spell is broken
we exchange stares
with odd silent creatures.
did they hear us breathe?
only a few agile strides needed -
the two disappeared.


More posts about daily life at It Strikes Me Funny


My last moose encounter occured in 2007 while motorcycling on the Trans-Canada highway between Wawa and White River. A lone moose seemed to be the only inhabitant of that lonely stretch of highway.

Have you enjoyed a moose sighting lately? Where?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prose: backpack canoe, more than a trilogy part 2 - ‘first day out’

Backgrounder: “Somewhere near the middle of North Tea Lake, while sitting in canoes rented from “No Way Out Adventures”, our group of canoes stopped so that weary occupants, myself among them, could take a welcome break. Black licorice sticks never tasted sweeter. My shoulders had never been so sore or hot to the touch. It all seemed worth it an hour later when on dry land.” gaharrison

first day out

breakfast, fresh at “no way out”
equal parts stiff cool breeze
and soft-boiled eggs
the mosquitoes thankfully took a break.
large loads of freight
every item precious
bring anxious smiles as canoes,
sitting much lower in the water now,
jockey heavily at the gate.
the first energetic push,
past lily pads
and long snake grass,
stretches every muscle
through endless twists and turns
to the first portage.

lunches and black licorice
quickly unpacked, are eaten
on a small outcrop of rock
backs are hunched ‘gainst
a cold wet wind.
with white caps to fight
all heads are down
hot spots tear at tired shoulders
from the hard grip on paddles.
but slowly we draw closer
to our island home
wild point of rock and pine.

... to be continued



Friday, June 5, 2009

Prose: backpack canoe, more than a trilogy part 1 - anticipation

Backgrounder: “In an ongoing effort to put all of my song lyrics, poetry and prose in one place, get discovered and make a million dollars (the price of a decent cup of coffee works for me as well) I dragged ‘backpack canoe’ out of the closet. If it was in three parts I’d call it a trilogy from North Tea Lake, Algonquin Park, northern Ontario, circa 1993. The group I travelled and camped with are friends to this day.” gaharrison


gotta hit the johnny cash
gotta hit the road

with a heavy nylon backpack -
every pocket full
tightly zippered shut
stashing plastic jars
spices, syrup, porridge,
rice, pop-tarts and pasta
hungry-man size only
a five day supply

gotta hit the johnny cash
gotta hit the road

with a twelve foot canoe of cedar -
both ends snugged down
with yellow nylon lines
honda stuffed front and back
pointing north to Sundridge
five hours to Algonquin
adventure at North Tea awaits

money quick at johnny cash
gotta hit the road



FYIs - years ago, some cash machines were called johnny cash machines