First Trip in the Spring

North Rusagonis River
The author enjoys the first trip of the spring on the North Rusagonis River

Many’s the joy I’ve known
in years of paddling,
but there’s none outshone
the first trip in the spring.

Snow lingers in the shade,
alder’s leaves unfurled.
songbirds in the glade,
sunshine on the world.

My stroke was never so smooth,
my boat was never so light.
Now may spring’s river soothe
the ache of long winter’s night.

Hissing, rippling, surging,
I hear the river talk.
I heed its murmured urging,
reach out and touch a rock.

Deep down in the hollow,
far from the madding crowd.
around the bend, a meadow,
the sun breaks through the cloud.

A campsite on the clover ground,
a chance to catch a trout,
a fire to tell tall tales around
when star bright comes out.

We’ll cast off all our worries
until another day.
Forget about life’s hurries,
the world is miles away.


 Nanook of the Nashwaak 
 Reach out and touch a rock 

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Click here to hear Nanook recite this poem.

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