Poetry by Gail Murray – 9/17

Canoe Respite

Imposing granite monoliths
hug a rocky shoreline
smoothed by erosive power.
Canoeists stroke in rhythm
over verdant waters
clear to pre-Cambrian depths.

Soul – driven to reach inward
scratch the surface of the heart
compelled to create, respond
to forests and solitary pines
braving the elements.

Ink to paper, oil to canvas
Atwood, Varley, Mowat.
This scenic primordial wonder
drove Thomson and the Seven
venture to undiscovered landscapes
create expansive, distinct art
overpowering in simplicity.

Urban heart lightened
imagination refreshed
as diamond-beaded loons
dart and dive.

Shakespeare in the Park

Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, As You Like It
Lovers, warriors, plots, disguises
laughter, drama, death
Shakespeare in the park
amidst cyclists, joggers, people walking dogs
nannies pushing baby strollers
audience in green space, on lawn chairs
lolling about on blankets
in parks with names
like Fairy Lake,and Withrow
Romantic sounding locations
perfect for mid-week entertainment
wakes up the grey matter.

Listen, follow the poetry of the lines
as we munch our picnic
cheese, cherries, baguette
a hearty sandwich for my sweetheart
Didn’t dare to smuggle in a merlot.
The actors – seasoned players
full of youthful exuberance
I love this pay-what-you-can idea
affordable theatre for the masses
like the olden days at The Globe
The bard would have been proud.

Summer’s Gone…..

Finally, I’m here at the cottage
I’ve waited weeks for the annual invitation
used to come up for the long weekend
go boating, walk around the bay.
Now the family has grown
I have to wait until a bed is free
Summer never lasts long.

Curled up in a deck chair on the dock
I gaze at the restless lake
Cool winds chill
sailboats a Monet print
It’s too rough to kayak.
Towel wrapped round my legs
fleece jacket about my shoulders
I won’t relent.

Rose sips hot coffee in her wet swimsuit
“I live in my bathing suit at the cottage” she says
She was in the hot tub this morning
I sipped hot coffee,
tried to read the paper wrapped in a blanket.
I’d worried about sunburn
packed aloe and flimsy summer things
No jeans, sweaters, socks.

My throat catches, not a cold?
Wasn’t I just watering thirsty roses,
seeking shade from scorching heat?
Though cool temperatures and winds off the lake
hint at autumn
This first day of September
We cling to sandals and capris.

Like Keats, Gail seeks to capture the essence of the moment. Gail’s writing is a response to her natural and emotional environment. Her poems have been published in Wordscape, Arborealis, and Blank Spaces. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in Blank Spaces, The Globe and Mail, Trellis, Heartbeats, Renaissance, NOW Magazine, Our Canada and More of Our Canada.