Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another Vagabond Summer

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On Sterling Pond

Who first called it fair?
Who first named it haven?
How long ago were the thoughts
first twinned in the minds of mapmakers?

I have it on good authority
from season’s first dragonfly
along Ontario: It was a pair of them.
The gander saw her fair;
the hen had found in him a haven
for seven goslings to be raised
on a sterling—his idea—pond,
her word for their home of reeds.
Since the end of the last Ice Age,
its great glacial retreat,
Canada geese have claimed
these south shore marshes.
Despite red-tailed hawk visions,
shadows of turkey vultures,
the arrival of man, me,
this species thrives.

Tonight I sleep in Fair Haven
on the bluff above Sterling Pond,
in the company of Branta canadensis.
Tonight I dream the voice of the goose
is yet heard in the wetlands
eight thousand generations later.
I dream the birds’ long aquatic history
and lore of this place on the charts. Again,
I make their fair, sterling acquaintance.
Tonight I swim in protected waters.
Summer season's greetings, friends and visitors.
With Fair Haven State Park in New York already a memory,
I head across Lake Champlain into Vermont today,
a green northern kingdom of rugged mountains.

1 comment:

kathyvans said...

Fair havens are fair friends and poets. Your photos and poems always fill me with wonder. Kathy