Discover more from Ordinary Collisions: Intersections of Nature & Culture
collisions of lake and lawn
The lake is higher
than it’s ever been—
from the deck I can see
wood ducks swimming
across part of the lawn,
water lapping a new spot of shore.
They paddle through brown reeds
as icy wind pushes me back inside.
A fire is going, despite the late spring day,
and I’m thinking about unanswerable questions
as this poem I’m writing doesn’t, maybe, want
to be a poem—it wants to be words stretched out across the page with no profound lesson or tidy lines bound together by a witty title or effective line breaks that convey a meaning maybe not even the writer of the lines can uncover. It wants to be more like high water in a cold spring, going where its momentum takes it, swimming furiously across unruly waters, reaching until there’s nowhere left to go and it’s time to recede
back into tidy lines
looking for the lessons
in how a wood duck swims
in a yard swallowed
by the season.
I scribbled that in a journal on April 22, and as we step into May, and the cold and high water linger, it seemed like as good a thing to share as anything.
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And since it’s the first of May, here’s a little blurb from a book of mine that came out back in 2017.
"In Irish mythology, May Day is known as Beltane – a time when the door to winter is firmly closed as the season of summer and lushness waits in the wings. But it isn’t here yet – this time of mid spring is a time of planting seeds, of transformation, of emergence and of reclaiming the communities that we let go dormant when the days got dark. But the light is back, and earth is green, and the soil is aching to support new life."
So, here’s to the reclaiming, high water, lingering cold, unruly sort-of poems and all.
at least in the 14 years we’ve lived on the shores of this little lake
of course it’s worth saying that anything can be a poem, especially when you don’t feel like following rules, which I often don’t (largely because I don’t know what they are anyway).