What Last Golden River Run:
17 Canoe Poems for Autumn

By Lenny Everson
rev 2

Copyright Lenny Everson 2011

For Dianne, my paddle-partner.

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Chapter 1: Octobering My Soul

Rain at dawning. Warm breakfast, but I
ended up at the window, gray-feeling.
At nine the clouds headed for Quebec
leaving stunning blue on the world's ceiling.

Got the canoe on the car, feet soaked with dew, and
on the water by ten-thirty, making paddle-whirlpools,
Octobering my Canadian soul. I tell you, I went
down the lake for no particular reason.

Portaged just to step on crackling orange leaves
or maybe just to ruffle a grouse. I think
eternity could start this way. I wouldn't
mind. I wouldn't mind at all.


Notes: The days in October are short, and often cloudy. Rain, sometimes snow. Not the best way to end anything, including a year. The rivers, and Ontario’s one million lakes, are abandoned to the winds and the occasional duck hunter.
But there are usually a few topaz days in October. Clear air and clear water and all the hills are a-dazzle with colour.
The warm sunshine competes with a chill breeze, and the geese overhead remind you that this day is a present, wrapped in coloured ribbon.
I can read this poem and I hear the sound of bright leaves underfoot on the portage. This is where time should stop for me. (If I don’t get a lighter canoe or lose some weight, it just might someday.)

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