...of its landscape."
I reread the title and opening line to one of my Amazonia poems and amazingly am transported not to the great river reflecting constellations but to the north, into this photograph of an island in the fog. The Canadian Shield, its glacial lakes, are caught in meditation, blur of consciousness of sky upon the land. Rationality is misted over, the rat-mind in stillness. Rather the hush of spruce trees Rather a dock in reverie, no cottage in sight.
The island lies in Chandos Lake, in the Kawarthas of Ontario, a couple of hours northeast by minivan from Toronto. If you were to locate it on chart or GPS or Google Earth, you would refer to 44°49'30" North and 77°58'43" West. (Thank you, Canadian Council of Geometrics; http://www.geodata.us/canada_names_maps/maps.php?featureid=FAPVZ&f=188.)
Dive into the image and you arrive on the shore of friendship.The viewscape welcomes you to imagine how laughter can warm the chilliest waters. You will be enveloped in kindness.
That's what I discovered on my journey to visit Judy and Walter ("Fergy") Fergusen at their getaway home in late July. We know no finer hospitality. I have them to thank for the defining photograph. All that they gave-- and fog too!
And a while later a poem to accompany the digitized calm. This one is for you, Judy and Fergy:
In calm wild latitudes
we come to Chandos Lake to lose the granite
in our weighted lives; hope loons, paired, remain
as spruces, boathouse, dock, their stony island disappear.
Fog swallows the Canadian Shield in toto and
alive, we receive the weightless, hopeful silences of loons.
Poetry of place has been much on my hyper-conscious post-vacation brain. The second issue of About Place Journal went live recently. My congratulations to Editor Michael McDermott on a fine collection of prose and poetry and graphic pleasures. Thank you, Michael, for publishing my work, a poem based on the best place of all: this my native Third Coast habitat. My turf, my Great Lake.. Please visit: http://aboutplacejournal.org/?page_id=1825.
Please also visit http://www.sugarmule.com/PDFS/41Final4.pdf. Sugar Mule's monumental "Women Writing Nature" is 400+ pages of fabulous and immensely varied compendium of contemporary women poets' natural visions. I am proud to be in the company of Jen Eddy, Maude Larke, Wilda Morris, Sherry O'Keefe, Marge Piercey, Miriam Sagan and Lenore Weiss among dozens of other Nature-inspired writers.. Thank you, guest editor Jeanetta Calhoun Mish. My trio of poems in the collection will lead you south: back to Ontario, then on to Georgia, and again into the Amazon, where I first learned "sky is the consciousness."
Lastly, I invite you to drop in on http://www.riverpoetsjournal.com/River_Poets_Journal_-_Spring-Summer_-_2012__2_.pdf. My "Bordering On" will take you to my other native habitat: Florida. I hope you enjoy the trek. Thank you, Judith Lawrence, oh River Poets Journal editor.
I should be doling out gratitude to another pair of wonderfully loving friends, Iris and Gary, who were with Roger and me for four days last week, but that thank-you poem isn't ready for prime-time blog! I promise the hefty revisions will be worth it. Another posting here for another day of remembering the many blessings of our time together this August.
The sky is telling me it's lunch-time. Right here, right now. Further poetry of place will have to wait.
Thank you, friends and other readers, for sticking with me through the Mists of Chandos.