Paddler's Nightmare

treefall (119K)
The dreaded tree across the stream

My dreams of late have been of gloom.
Once they were haunted by canyons cataract.
Now it's the logjams that unbidden loom
on blind turns and I've no time to react.

On my dream river there is a magic place
where I see clear round every turn.
Where I can trust there lurks no trace
of log jams where alders twitch and churn.

My stream is fast, deep and wide enough
to cradle my boat on its sinuous flow.
Here I see round the side enough
on bends where the swift blue waters go.

It's not the rocks and the drops that I fear.
They will always be there, on that rest assured.
May the rocks and the drops ever re-appear
in flowing symphony, no sweeter music heard.

It's the jagged barbs of fallen tree's branch
that bob and quiver in unflinching dread
and reach out with tips both sharp and blanch
to rip and gouge me till I'm dead.

 Nanook of the Nashwaak 
 Reach out and touch a rock 

Click here to hear Nanook recite this poem.

Tragedy on the Nepisiguit

Jean Gerber
Poling is enjoying a renaissance.

River Gods

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