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Posts Tagged ‘lake’


            for Jennifer and Jennifer


And once again I am twenty-four
and I walk out the door
of our master’s exam and meet
my classmates down by the lake
and the day is hot and we drink cold beer
until we think jumping off the end
of the pier is a great idea, so
we kick off our shoes and run fully dressed
to the edge and launch and splash
and swim until we arrive at a party barge
full of men who pull us dripping
and life-giddy into their midst
and we do shots of something
that blissfully burns before laughing we
return to the open lake and side stroke back
to the shore where nothing’s the same
as it was before, though it still looks the same—
metal chairs still orange, our hair still brown,
the humid sky hazy, loud cheers all around—
but our lives will soon hurl us
in different directions—
to lovers and children and unanswerable
questions where the real tests cannot
be studied for with friends, and life’s master’s
degree doesn’t end till life ends, but oh,
for those few moments on the terrace,
soaking and shivering and whooping in glee,
my god, we were free, we were free, we were free.

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If you watch the heron as it stalks

amongst the tall green reeds, then pauses,

and in its pausing disappears, then you understand

something of the power of stillness.

 

And if you, yourself, are still long enough

to see the head of the snapping turtle

rise between the lily pads,

then you glean something of the rewards

that come with sitting still.

 

But if you sit expecting such rewards,

then perhaps sit longer and watch the cattails

as they waver and still, sway and still and still,

and feel how the urge in you to say something rises

and softens and softens until there is nothing to say,

 

until that kind of stillness becomes

the greatest reward, until you feel

stillness hold you the way the lake

holds the lily pad, the way

the silence holds a song.

 

 

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in a blue boat

 

 

 

alone

on the lake

I whisper

sweet

nothings

certain

that voices

carry

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