Into the wilds by canoe
Infinite sky cascading into myriad singular horizons.
One mighty river that gathers its tributaries
To adventure through narrows
All of their voluminous flows
Accustomed to slopping around big basins,
Tumble helter skelter into a narrow channel
As a riotous chaos of water rushing
Through the tumult of cliffs and rocks and fallen trees.
And again it spills into giant lake basins
Dotted with forested islands and rocky outcrops
So desolate this boreal forest
Especially the scars of fires recent and distant
Skinny grey ghosts hover pointlessly
Trapped in purgatory
Immobile in the moving organic landscape
Waiting for decay to complete itself
And begin anew.
River, river, river and rock
Rock the forest green
Dark gnarled spruce
Entertain emerald green poplar, silver birch
The meaning becomes crystal clear
Like the water in lakes where the
Precious pickerel presides and
Grass and the reeds sway in northern breeze
Languid in a watery bed.
As we glide
The horizon curves under the pressure
Of elements meeting
Our canoes cut through profound expanse
Vigilant forest observes without compassion
Vast sky offers no respite
From rain or sun or wind.
We are sitting ducks
Bobbing between water and sky
Pelicans swoop suddenly
To prey on abundant fish
Carrying the squirming creatures off in their
Clumsy looking, but efficient beaks
Dragon flies flit
Boasting hues of blue luminescent
And the loons
Soulful call resonates in bruised dusk
Reverberates over water surface amplified
Vibrating through me laying on a still-warm rock
Feeling the heat of day penetrate my back
The cool evening plants kisses on my cheek
The breathless calm
Connecting me with the essence of this moment.
Take me. I’m yours.
Outside twenty-four seven
I partake of full-on northern summer
Sleeping in a tent
Waking up in a tent
Cooking over a fire
Eating around the fire
Sitting on the ground
Brushing teeth, taking a poo
Bathing, lounging and drinking.
The north takes me outside
And provokes me with its rigour
Thwarts me with its vigour
Bitch slaps me with its big hairy northern paw
Get that leech off me!
I know I will never be a northerner
But I can buy the birch bark berry basket.
And I will return once more.
Full-size photos at: http://photos.ageorg.ca/Intothewildcanoe/