Sunday, March 01, 2015

Castle by the Lake

This is Logan again, and the fortified sandcastle his family had just constructed
beside Pickerel Lake on their visit in 2013.


To drowse away the summer on a lake
To feel the limitations of the lake
To count the lake's two colors
To feel that something is wrong with the lake
I really like the lake, said the woman next door
You push a lake out of the way, but it comes right back
A lake could mean the end of chaos
A lake swallows itself every night
I like this lake, too, I said to the woman next door
There once was a lake with only one wave
Fifty young men were staring into the lake
If you speak to the lake, you must ask yourself why
To test the true material of the lake
To dip the oars of sleep into the surface of the lake
To feel the lake give birth for words for itself
A lake could fall into the wrong hands
Even an artificial lake needs real water
Oh, the lake is beautiful, and meaningless, and I love it
What lake is that you're talking about
Is it the way a lake looks or how it feels that matters
No lake at all--I;m bad at remembering lakes
In that respect a lake is like a chair
The lake was full of stars, the moon, the tops of trees
Someone was playing a trombone across the lake
On this side of the lake a silence was building up

Mark Strand
Chicken, Shadow, Moon & more, 
Turtle point Press, 2000, pages 85-87.

The late Mark Strand was a favorite poet of mine; this is an entrancing small book which would make a great gift! An interesting task would be to to make a series of poems which each begin with one line of this poem.

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