Monday, August 20, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 15 - McGregor Bay

When I first moved to Toronto in the late 80's, I spent the first few years as a live-in nanny for a family with whom I had an outrageous amount of fun. If you can believe how great this was, each summer they went up to the Georgian Bay area north of Toronto to spend a week at their family cottage. And they brought me with them! And paid me my week's salary to basically be on vacation with them.

Sure, technically I was there to still keep an eye on the little girl, but in reality her mom was on duty and I think she just wanted me to have an opportunity to have some fun with them. Which I did!

Here is the poem that resulted from the first visit:


McGregor Bay

The envelope is opened
And the breeze chilled with rain
Opens on my skin as I
Separate the double prints

Slimed sunscreen and Muskol
Returns to my skin
Remembering becomes
The rustle of the pines
The hollow thunk of deck shoe on root

The hanging schools of rock bass
Under the shadow of the boat
Sharing the lake
I emerged from
Dripping

The pictures time tunnel me
B-52 bomber drone of deerflies
Interrupt the pleasant giggling
Of blueberries hidden
In the springy shrubs
As they give themselves away
To be cradled in my hand like jewels















Smoke erupting skyward
Wine poured on skewered grill
Lake swallowing CD strains
And after the baby's safely asleep
To think we piled around that tiny screen
When we could have
Sacrificed some blood
For a look at the star show
Playing this location only


Copyright 1987 Julia Smith

Photos of McGregor Bay by Liz and Andy Betterton

18 comments:

Toni said...

I think this might be one of my favorite Julia poems ever. I'm such a country girl/open spaces/great outdoors person. This poem just breathed me in.

And I had several favorite parts, but finally decided on this;
************
To think we piled around that tiny screen
When we could have
Sacrificed some blood
For a look at the star show
Playing this location only

How very cool that they took you with them. Our blessings come at any time. Sad that some don't see or receive them as beautifully as they're given. Clearly, you did.
Thanks for sharing this gem, Julia.
Blessings,
~Toni~

Jill said...

Since I like the outdoor, I couldn't help myself but smile through out the whole poem!!
And I think the picture really goes with the poem!!

Rhet said...

Sacrificed some blood
For a look at the star show.

Until I moved to Pembroke from Toronto, I would not have understood these lines.
I know them well now.

Akelamalu said...

Beautiful especially

Of blueberries hidden
In the springy shrubs
As they give themselves away
To be cradled in my hand like jewels

Joy Renee said...

i love this for the way it engages every one of the senses.

Annie Mac said...

Beautiful Julia - makes me want to go there and experience it for myself.

Lisa Andel said...

Beautiful place. Not surprisingly, these lines drew me in too:
Sacrificed some blood
For a look at the star show
Playing this location only

gautami tripathy said...

I like the images, the journey, the beauty of it all.

I was kind of engrossed in all that.

Nancy said...

I liked it all. I resonated with this:

The hanging schools of rock bass
Under the shadow of the boat
Sharing the lake
I emerged from
Dripping

I grew up on a lake in high school and love this imagery.

disillussioned_me said...

Beautiful! i so want to go there too!
love the last para..
"Smoke erupting skyward
Wine poured on skewered grill
Lake swallowing CD strains"

Y said...

awesome! I want to see this place now.

Mike M said...

Great poem!!

Sparky Duck said...

such a great poem of youth!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yeah, I have to agree. Definitely one of my favorites, and you write really nice things to begin with.

Sniz said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. Poetry is a love...I used to write it like crazy in my youth, but life has gotten so busy, I've fallen out of the habit. Your imagery was beautiful and I loved the feeling it gave me. And looking over past entries, I loved the reminders of when I played Oboe in high school and college. Good feelings. Thanks!

Rhian / Crowwoman said...

ah Julia! this was so lovely and profound:
"To think we piled around that tiny screen
When we could have
Sacrificed some blood
For a look at the star show
Playing this location only"
gorgeous poem all the way around.

Ann said...

Beautiful poem. I want to go there now.

OpenChannel said...

I love poems that capture a moment or an event. The last lines are great. Thanks for sharing.