Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Song My Paddle Sings

The Song My Paddle Sings 
E. Pauline Johnson (1862–1913) 

WEST wind, blow from your prairie nest, 
Blow from the mountains, blow from the west. 
The sail is idle, the sailor too; 
O wind of the west, we wait for you! 
Blow, blow! 
I have wooed you so, 
But never a favor you bestow. 
You rock your cradle the hills between, 
But scorn to notice my white lateen. 

I stow the sail and unship the mast: 
I wooed you long, but my wooing’s past; 
My paddle will lull you into rest: 
O drowsy wind of the drowsy west, 
Sleep, sleep! 
By your mountains steep,
Or down where the prairie grasses sweep, 
Now fold in slumber your laggard wings, 
For soft is the song my paddle sings. 

August is laughing across the sky, 
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I 
Drift, drift, 
Where the hills uplift 
On either side of the current swift. 

The river rolls in its rocky bed, 
My paddle is plying its way ahead, 
Dip, dip, 
When the waters flip 
In foam as over their breast we slip. 

And oh, the river runs swifter now; 
The eddies circle about my bow: 
Swirl, swirl! 
How the ripples curl 
In many a dangerous pool awhirl! 
And far to forward the rapids roar, 
Fretting their margin for evermore; 
Dash, dash, 
With a mighty crash, 
They seethe and boil and bound and splash. 

Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe! 
The reckless waves you must plunge into. 
Reel, reel, 
On your trembling keel, 
But never a fear my craft will feel. 

We ’ve raced the rapids; we ’re far ahead: 
The river slips through its silent bed. 
Sway, sway, 
As the bubbles spray 
And fall in tinkling tunes away. 

And up on the hills against the sky, 
A fir tree rocking its lullaby 
Swings, swings, 
Its emerald wings, 
Swelling the song that my paddle sings. 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Blow'n a gale in Newfoundland

The Mountain Ash

The Mountain Ash 

The mountain ash is red today
against the fir green hill
The berries on the naked bough
are hanging low and still

The sparrows have all gone away
and alder leaves are down
The brooks run dark and lonely now
and brackens withered brown

Come climb the hill this autumn day
to search for tarnished gold
That will reflect in memory 
when you and I are old

Life never gives us long enough
to do the things we love
So let us gently thread the path
with mountain ash above

Growing pumpkins

My pumpkins soaking up the sun.