Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Watersmoke

Gray dawn watersmoke rises
and hovers curling
in thin cool shreds at
the smooth northern surface
in front of me
dead still but for
this ghosting canoe.

I savour the silence
am aware of
my extra care
to make no sound
as I paddle
slipping my
white spruce blade
carefully in and out
of the glassine face
of air and water joined
where I fly gliding
on a reflection
of a brightening
summer sky
over the clear dim glow
on a shallow bottom
I can see clearly
through the shadow
of the canoe.

As I slip by
a tiny treed island
of precambrian granite
and dark tamarack
a black and white loon drake
surfaces briefly beside me
regards me silently
with one startling red eye
then dives and
breaks the surface
on the other side of my canoe
and dives down again

From the slight wave
at the clean slicing point
of this narrow leaf
I ride in
a delta wake
spreadripples back
and widens to brush
the whole rocky shoreline
behind me.

From somewhere unseen
the loon
laughs once
eerily
at the only other thing
awake on his water
this early in the morning
and I turn a wide arc
into sudden sunlight.

2 comments:

molina said...

Coyote -- that's a smashing bit of imagery... I got pictures on the inside of my lids. I guess I must still have a silken memory or two of Canadian postcard scenes stuck way back in there. Makes me want to fix my canoe.

coyote said...

Hey molina, thanks! And welcome to my little patch of virtuality. Where ya been? It's been, uh, dog's years. So, you should fix that canoe...