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Moon Dance Over Water

My spirit

always warmed by your presence silently awaits

your return the sole reason for tonight’s sojourn

appreciative of your vision, your illumination of life’s sleepy shoreline

unique I am not, for you’ve courted reverence since the dawn of mankind

yet no union of words has ever captured you truly

Pupils wide, I see you rise with grace as dark envelopes daylight

I am entranced by your beauty as you reveal yourself fully

lost within the moment, transfixed in quiet enchantment

your spell no stranger to my wandering pulse

as you approach with anticipation overflowing

your image, I beg, to be forever seared into my consciousness

Your invitation to dance draws near, I wait, pause breath

hoping night will smile upon our rendezvous with clear palette

before you beckon, I submit, responding without hesitation

we move in unison, silently beholding the beauty of our stage

onlooking pines nodding to their shadows, almost unnoticed, in time

as the wind approves of our embrace with its gentle offering

I am hypnotized, as my paddle finds life in your light

we beseech the sands of time to hesitate, for dawn to not awaken just this once

our unanswered plea falls silent, the hourglass relentlessly unremitting

as last embers lie sleeping, you slip into the night, our dance departed

with the gentle lap of water barely audible I bathe in the beauty of epiphany

whispering goodnight to the approaching dawn, I close my eyes and see clearly

Your presence always enlightening

I See You

I see you

Not everyone does

I’ve seen you before

Today you look at peace, solemn, contemplative

How long have you been standing there I wonder

Like a sentinel observing all manner of creature who pass

Witnessing the dawning of each new day over the forgotten hills on the distant shoreline

Watching tendrils of moonlight reaching across the lake in search of a friend

Appreciating the quiet beauty of both day and night sky as do I

Immortalized, yet invisible, in the backdrop of Grand Lake’s most famous resident

I see you hold firmly to your vantage point of outcropped granite

The floor bedded with your well-worn coat no longer covers your grip

Your roots, like the clawed toes of your neighbour the Great Blue Heron, usually hidden

Found beneath the surface, beyond most creatures’ gaze

Quietly carrying out their purpose unnoticed

I see that your footing is strong

Strengthened with the test of time

Strengthened by your will to survive

Withstanding all forces that may conspire against you

Offering both a glimpse of the past and hope for the future

I see that you are surrounded by your kin

Each individual with its own voice

Its own story to tell

United yet unique

A family indeed

Do you converse with one another

Do you speak of the days when few passed your way and denounce our presence

Is it naïve, nay egocentric, to believe that we even enter into your dialogue

Would you speak to us if you could

Would we listen

I see you

I wonder how you see me


In a mirror

in my mind’s eye

I reflect

on tempered light

still searching  

for real reflection

to see

true love's insight

She stares 

at me with wonder

whispers the past

has come and gone

you can’t pull a reflection

from a mirror

any more than a raindrop

from a pond

I smile

say she’s mistaken

that the reflection

is in my head

I wasn’t looking

for her vision

I am sorry  

if I misled


it’s in my mind

that real love lingers

always there to find

we stare

reflect together

pressed lips

with pupils wide

Behind the Curtain

The prying eye of the beholder stares in judgment

Hovering like a duplicitous drone plucked from orbit

Every movement captured, no deed unnoticed

I stare back, wondering who will blink first

Tired of my reflection, I focus on the world unseen

Thoughts, emotions, curiosities all spliced in an endless loop

Projected on a wall of solitude in the theatre only I attend

No peeking behind the curtain when it is drawn

Distilled glimpses flash for all eyes on occasion

Scenes censored for critique by the screening masses 

Scripts written only after credits roll in silence

Play the villain or the hero, the choice always yours

The prying eye of the beholder stares in judgment

I stare back and see that we blink in unison

Our meticulous movements synchronized

No vision but my own in sight

Finding Peace

The river, always cold when my paddle awakens from hibernation, greets me with an unrecognized chill, a warning, a foreboding I’ve not felt in these icy waters. Excitation is mired with expectation of dark discovery.

For weeks my blades tirelessly peer through the unforgiving currents without sight. Their thirst for revelation, like mine, never satiated. No relief for the senses or the soul. No colour. No peace. I curse my character in this film noir and long for the curtain to close.

I try to sink these thoughts to the darkest depths of the channels through which I find passage. Try to rid myself of this unwelcome harbinger, but cannot. It persists, pushing me forward, imploring me to persevere. I protest in vain. I commit.

Exploration becomes indistinguishable from my search for you, yet I do not know if you even exist. I wonder if I have created you, created my own self-fulfilling descent, cauterized my sensibilities with embers kindled from within. Mistaken present for passed.

Then, absent reason, darkness recedes one day. Its noose allowing breath. Inhale, exhale, inhale. I wonder if my mind is a prankster, if it remains sound, or if a malady yet hides unhealed by the river’s caress. Serenity tiptoes from behind burden. Exhale.

I converse with a beaver’s sculpted offering navigating beyond my bow. It is perfect. I accept it. My paddle objects to its company though as I wind through forest cloaked in water. No solution, no traction, to be found. A decision must be made, live with or let go.

I see the discarded confused with the forgotten and the lost, all drifting, collecting, disappearing. A log, a paint can, a tire, a ball. Some waiting, still hoping to be found. Others resigned to their fate. I stop. I rest. I think. I see.

Yellow, I see. Too distant to know, to be sure. My heart responds. It knows. My thoughts slow. My paddle replies with sombre focus and revelation emerges. Silence speaks as sadness and relief collide. The import of this journey has come to light. Darkness fades to black.

I have found you. You are real. Inhale. Exhale. Water flows with the knowledge that my dispatch extinguishes life-preserving hope, that peace lies only in the closure now shared. I assuage the current. I rest. I think. I see.

A Paddler’s Prayer

Dip me in water when my madness runs deep

When it drips from my brain, out my mouth as I weep

Don’t bother to ask for I won’t comprehend

When wet withdrawal controls, all thought starts to bend

Sink me deep where I’ll breathe, the truth not the noise

Where the fluid filled silence will filter mind’s lies

Yes, I beg for immersion, no matter the time

For the water, it soothes me, like a womb of sublime

Don’t hesitate if you love me, just throw me right in

For asking won’t work, my madness will grin

On the bottom, I’ll open my eyes and I’ll see

The ache, like an anchor, I’ll let go, paddle free

Dip me in water when my madness runs deep

When it drips from my brain, out my mouth as I weep

From the darkness I’ll float, to life’s light I will rise

On my altar of water, by submersion baptized

Your Presence

Standing on this hallowed ground one wonders if it was your presence that made it so

Your existence pronounced by those first wielding pick and shovel as befitting, necessary

You offered protection, quiet comfort, to those mourning on this secluded hillside

One imagines you a confident, a repository of sorrow and words stolen by untimely loss

A reluctant collector of tears

Those days are now gone, your collection returned to the cycle of life

A decade, tenfold, has passed since you first welcomed your last departed

Still, here you stand, a testament to the foresight of those who laboured in your shadow

A living monument, a stoic stele, for the artist laid to rest, unmarked, in your presence

A beacon for the living who wander to Canoe Lake’s now forever present past

The comfort of your presence is still received by those who find their way

Those whose footsteps congregate on the peaceful pathway that guided me today

Seen as a passage to the unknown, to uncertainty, for a hundred years

Now more than a curiosity, a pilgrimage it appears, for those appreciating your company

Appreciating the reclamation of your significance, and this place in history

It appears your visitors are few, but one wonders if the death knell for solitude has sounded

Now that mystery has departed and his final resting place remains to be seen

Now that eyes of the four-legged, not silent speculation, peer from the surrounding foliage

Now that doubt has been exhumed and wonder reborn in these woods

Now that we know what you have witnessed

I have come to pay respect to you and the departed with whom you have become one

To listen, to reflect, to appreciate the living as well as those passed

To impart your narrative, your vision, your influence, on those who join me

To linger, securing your image in my mind so that I may wander to your side at will

To behold your timeless beauty and thank you for your presence

Your Loss

I am sorry for your loss

It was profound

Its implications never imagined by your creator

Your life, your task, simple in nature

Essential, like breath, on the waters you travelled

You shook the hand of greatness

You were a trusted companion

Reliable, true to your calling

A friend of sorts, a witness

Conjecture yet drifts across Canoe Lake and beyond

Like late summer mist clouding the view before us

Your whereabouts still secret, part of the century-old mystery

Alas, did you come to pass the same day as your friend

Am I speaking to a ghost, a spirit other worldly

Speculation abounds

Did you depart without words in an unmarked grave

Now all but fully returned from whence you were born

Now friends with the creatures below the landscape so beloved

Did you swirl above the lake and the forest beyond

Ignited in haste to dampen the chill of deception

Your flames casting shadows understood only by unknown eyes

Is whisper of your demise premature

Your life not yet extinguished

Your story yet growing, one day to be told

Are you hidden like the darkest of secrets

Are you cherished, your provenance quietly known

The mystery lives on

Much has been said of you, your loss

Yet the truth may forever evade us

Lost like the souls of those who know

I hope you have survived, still strong like the west wind

Tasting familiar waters as you shake the hand of an unknowing friend

Living out your days in the beauty of nature’s canvas

I am sorry for your loss

Whisper Over the Water

Am I magnificent still, you ask, yes, I say

But now magnificently still, silent

No longer telling stories to the wind

No longer whispering to the birds

No longer tied to the forest floor

But magnificent still

For a century you pulled the sky toward you

Breathed, allowed breath

Waived to the stars with outstretched arms

Watched, were watched

Cast a shadow that soothed

Stood tall

Your purpose now altered; you lie prostrate

No longer friends with the wind, you say

No longer home to those with the power of flight

A home still, yes, to a different brood, I say

Those familiar with the forest floor and the river beside

Those whose appreciation is differently rooted

Am I magnificent still you ask, yes, I say

Immortal, no, although it once appeared so

Yet you shall leave a trace when I leave none

You shall be appreciated after my words have faded

Magnificent still

Yes, I say

As I pass, with paddle deep in your reflection

Your wisdom, your secrets, remain  

I wish I understood you more, I say

Let’s speak again another day

When still water, and wet paddle

Bring your whisper my way

Twelve in the Blink of My Eye

In the blink of my eye you’re twelve years old

A dozen years of memories realised too fast

If I could slow down seconds, freeze time, I would

For I long for time with Brooke, my baby girl, to last

You have a smile that lights up any room you’re in

And I’m happy to be in any room where you are

Your laugh brings me to the height of joy

And I wish you happiness on every shooting star

You have eyes that held my heart, from day one

From the moment you first gripped my hand

I can still feel your little fingers holding mine as we rocked

We gave no thought to time shifting sand

But the hourglass has moved twelve years’ worth of sand

As I’ve watched you grow into a beautiful you

Beautiful in spirit, in compassion and kindness, plus smart

And to this, to yourself, I hope, you will always be true

So as you turn twelve, know that I’ll always love you

No matter what’s happening, or wherever you are

There’s nothing that could ever take that away

Neither time nor distance, nor hearts near or far

I love you baby girl, yes I still get to call you that

It’s never been truer than it is today

Happy birthday, I’m proud of you, I’m always here for you

Whether you’re twelve or we’re decades away

My Friend Rain

I caught the rain

as it was falling

I felt it run

right through my fingers

Each drop

then collected itself

Into a puddle

where it now lingers

It wants to play

with me I know

Jump skyward

then fall back down

Form a moat

around my boot castles

As we laugh

and find wet ground

So with my umbrella

opened or closed

I’ll find the happy

in every rain drop

Feel the joy

that this friend brings

When we reach for the sky

both jump and go plop

Our Canvas

The air is crisp and fresh with the scent of towering pines that guide us forward

Rays of early morning sunlight dance through the branches, illuminating the surface and parting the mist ahead

We are beckoned, welcomed

Our glide pierces the velvet canvas of water with each quiet stroke

Morning dew coalescing with the lake beneath our feet as we gain momentum




We are not alone

The soulful serenade of a loon reaches across the water

Now hills once gazed upon by that most famous of all Jack Pines and its artist’s contemplative stare sing softly, sharing the message with all who are listening

We are listening

We glide in reverence, imagining, wishing we could communicate in kind 




Like with the stroke of a brush our paddles paint ripples on our living vignette

This partnership is profound, it is timeless, unique

We share its ethereal beauty with only one another

There is no applause, it is the quiet contentment of our collaboration that we seek

No utterance is worthy, only silence is befitting




Day breathes deeply, fully awakened

Our palette remains replete with possibility

We glide in unison

Our composition continues to emerge

Stroke, stroke, stroke 




Our paddles enter the water

They speak to one another softly

Their whispers swirling through the canvas

Their exhalation propelling us deeper into our liquid landscape

We wish we could communicate in kind




We are not alone

Tiny droplets embrace our brushes with each stroke

Each seeking a view of itself in the creation below, then returning to the surface in communication of their revelation, splish, splish, splish

Like tears shed in joy and wonder

Becoming one, becoming whole, as we pass

Not a Word

Not a word

was spoken

there were

no words to say

Your eyes

they said it all

yet I could not

look away


the right word maybe

or frozen

it could be

Yet not a word

was spoken

your eyes said all

as I could see  


I danced

with a firefly at dusk

its torch lit

for quiet minds

to see

then it landed

with a flicker

finding focus

not focused

on me

there in silence

its mission light lingered

like a beacon

asking eyes

to agree


while wandering with purpose

for new fire

from fate’s flames

to be

she watched him

with hesitating wonder

as she slowly beckoned

absent light’s


feeling destiny’s glow

in the dark

saying stay 

shine your light

on me


In the middle of the night

when I find sleep with you in view

I pinch myself for fear I’m dreaming

that I’m one without our two

For without you I’d only dreamed

that a dream like ours existed

only out there waiting for me

in a theatre with love scripted

Or it seemed I was the moon

you were day’s light on dawn’s approach

we’d share a moment on opposite horizons

our distant love with brief encroach

Yet you remained when I was blinded

though I feared I’d lose you with one blink

you stayed as my eyes opened

so I steeled my courage for a wink

Now I know that I’m not dreaming

I know the love we share is real

I know just how our love tastes

I know just how our love feels

Tonight as you lay beside me

I’ll move closer and stay true

for our truth beats in my heart

the truth felt with only you

So If you feel me shiver

wrap me in a red blanket of your love

let our hearts join in our quiver

with Cupid’s arrows from above


The dew from your lips lingers

as it flows slowly, softly, hesitatingly

from my mind’s eye like combustible tears

longing to ignite our smoldering embers of desire

I bathe in the hidden depths of your liquescent lust

and find myself lost in its quivering caress

drowning in its feverish embrace

still begging to be engulfed in your flames

that lick at the very core of my being

The dew from your lips lingers

Waking Words       

Sometimes love is silent


in little moments

there are words left unsaid

like when sunlight

smiles in your hair

as morning’s glow

finds you on our bed

When these words

awaken in my mind

I’ll give them voice

as we linger there

let you know

how I truly feel

with words that whisper

not simply stare

Right beside you

my best side forever

I’ll no longer think

if only I’d said

all the silent

I love you kisses

will now find you

on the outside instead

So forgive me

if I break morning silence

to share such thoughts

with you

if I wet your lips

with my I love you

for every morning

waking words know I do

Your Eyes and the Flower Blood Moon

If your eyes

offer sight to your soul

let me gaze beyond vision

and behold

Into their depths

Let me wade let me sink

till I see your truth

as it’s truly told  

If you mind

lights the path to your heart

let your eyes’ glimmer

help guide me that way

To view loves' senses

that see in the dark

with pupils wide  

catching light gone astray

Into your eyes

and mind let me stroll

on painted pathway

with wild roses in bloom

Shared sight

seeing crimson in love

with strokes of white

for our flower blood moon

Midnight Sun

I’m howling for you

in the midnight sun

once blinded

now together I see

for in darkness

I found your light  

in it’s gaze now

so thankful to be

I’m howling for you

in the midnight sun

reaching for you

as we shine within

breathing hope

on the breath of our kiss

while we rise

with echo sinking in

I’m howling for you

in the midnight sun

as we reflect

on the beyond above

eyes wide open

as we peer together

our sight focused

we hold on to love

I’m howling for you

in the midnight sun

smiling as you smile

my way

through the night

we will run

we'll burn hot like the sun 

then we'll shine on dawning day

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