Thoughts on the Shore of Balsam Lake


I wrote this on vacation last summer. Well, most of it. I mixed it up, and I’m sure a couple things got cobbled together from other bits I wrote that week, and there wasn’t a resolution until just now. I had vague plans of turning it into a multi-page epic, but… that requires serious effort. I deem this good enough!

Thoughts on the Shore of Balsam Lake

The cries of gulls and children
Echo across a sandy beach
I’m building castles in the sand
And castles in the sky–

At once, a man in uniform
And a young woman in white
Pass slowly, hand in hand,
Smiling, in a dream, in love–

The waves, the shining lake,
Seem more real than the sky
With its painted white clouds
And insipid fading blues–

It is late afternoon now:
The gulls return to gather
Food left behind by the children
And still I wait for sunset–

Sunset! when our life-giving star
Flings colours in bands across the sky
Like a frustrated painter with a
Rather curious and smug cat–

A cat digging trenches in canvas,
Sharp claws dunked in shades of
Reds, oranges, purples, and golds, and
Wearing a sphinx’s enigmatic smile–

At last, the grandest light in the sky
Dips low in its dance with the horizon
And, with a flick of her long skirts,
Sinks over the edge of my sight.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2011.

Also, I gotta say, pen and paper are best for first drafts, but for editing, you gotta have a word processor of some kind. At least, I do.

This is also my offering for Friday’s Big Tent Poetry prompt.

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5 Comments

Filed under Poetry

5 responses to “Thoughts on the Shore of Balsam Lake

  1. This is a lovely read – the last stanza is stellar!

  2. Oh, Bee, the imagery! I really loved the painter with the “curious and smug cat,” who proceeds to claw a sunset onto the canvas. The flick of the long skirts, the lovers… there’s nothing about this I don’t like, I mean it. Best moment, “and still I wait for sunset-
    Sunset!”
    That repetition was so effective. The whole poem is a study in romance and the nature of nature. This is publishable, for my money. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/cat-of-nine/

    • Thank you so much Amy! 😀 I had such a great time crafting this. Any excuse to sit by a wonderful lake for hours and watch the world unfold is good enough for me. The last stanza was a tough one, because it took me forEVER to come up with the right way to end it on a graceful note. Like, the better part of a year I have been tinkering with this fiddly thing.

      You really think someone would pay to publish this? 😀 heeee that is my dream! I feel like I should have worked something in about the smell of wet sand and the wind, to bring the full experience in as many senses as possible, but as far as it stands now, this is one of my favourites that I have written. My best work is… actually being judged right now in a Canadian lit mag’s contest, so I don’t think I can post it until I find out if I got in or not. But here’s hoping I get mentioned, or even (fingers crossed) win the thing.

  3. Pingback: The Butterfly and Bee | beespoetry

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