glacial waters

glacier lake in Alberta

In reverie, I remember

Water in golden light,

Lit like stars at midday

And moon in deepest night


Dark green with streaks of blue

Silken streaming strands,

Waves crashing into foam

On shores of ancient sands

rushing water

Salty turquoise seas

Deep in days begun

Reflecting heaven’s hues

Mirroring the sun


And when the skies cloud gray

Bringing summer rains,

With water on the rooftops

Snaking down the window panes


Steeped in pools and gardens,

On cars and in the streets,

Glazing steel and sidewalks,

Rippling shadows on the sheets


In reverie, I remember

Water running wild, white,

In silken threads streaming,

Strands of golden light.









wild rose
wild rose

Heavy-handed, plied to will,
Poisons mixed to kill,

Spread, intent to shape for show,
The natural will not grow.

We love the rose, and disdain
The dandelion and plantain;

Though lovelier, much wilder too,
The rose in nature grew,

Blossom’s blush of beauty grand,
Without the hand of man.


Sands so soft and salty air

Breezes to cool the brazen days

So slow, so sure, to see, to dare

My thoughts gently turn away


To play upon the summer shore

In waves breaking into white

And turn to days that are no more

Than whispers on a moonlit night;


And when the gulls on winds arise,

To soar above the land and sea,

My heart grows wings again to fly

In song of ancient reverie.


To turn again from all despair

As we in younger days divined

Life’s promise winged in sheer delight,

To dance upon the sands sublime.


Chequamegon Bay Sunrise

It was beautiful one Sunday in September a few years back, even as wintry breath chilled the morning air, and brisk breezes stirred what was a mostly sunny day. Hours before the library doors were open, as I waited in the warmth of the sun, I was reminded of the sands at Big Bay on Madelaine Island, water lapping on the shore and the chill off Lake Superior. Lying on a bench in an empty ball field, I felt transported to the shores of Chequamegon Bay and Lake Superior once again, when the children were young and time seemed suspended.

There were days we would hike looking for blueberries in the woods, and raspberries along the abandoned railroad tracks before it was converted to a hiking trail. There were swims in the water so cold your lips would turn blue. The pink glow of morning light over the bay, the memory of a kite flown so high we thought it was lost in the clouds, the brown bat in our cabin, the cold swim in water so clear you could drink it, huge moths like small birds in the night … all of these memories flooded over me in detail as if they had occurred only a moment before.

The moonrises and the sunrises, the thunderstorms approaching from across Superior were experiences so deeply impressed. Visions of the natural world, the colors, life so real, so profound, the silences to think, to recall, to meditate, to breathe….

Too soon the city calls, though, the sounds of traffic, engines grinding their way to one event or another, one task or another beckons; and soon all but the sounds of silence can be heard. We survive, we make a living and all too soon forget to live. It gave me peace, if only for a moment, to recall what life can be. As a friend once asked: “If not for joy, then what?”

Chequamegon Sunrise