I know I’ve posted this before but I ventured to submit it to Northern Cardinal Review, an online magazine I happened upon today:
Ripples lick the rocks
As the pines and birch politely applaud
Gulls catching their petits déjeuners
In the waking lake.
Sky’s amethyst shroud cascades
Towards the western shore
And the water’s silky blue
Becomes the pewter and emerald of armour.
The fleeting storm rumbles to the west and north
Dragging a chair across a distant wooden floor
But our only thunder is from a train
Rolling to market behind its mournful whistle.
The winds shift, the shroud – like a chameleon –
Becomes soft pillows of gray and white.
Lake Simcoe’s armour is but a duvet;
The white top-sheets being turned down toward Windigo.
Once here, and with dusk approaching,
The sheets are smoothed, the pillows fluffed
And the sun sinks past the foot of the bed
Leaving colours of peace and wonder.
No sooner are distant pinks orange, and oranges purple,
Then a star pierces the darkening blue
And the trees begin to sigh, knowing the moon’s glow
Over Windigo will keep watch another night.
(July 30, 1993)
Kenn Chaplin is a Toronto, Ontario blogger, amateur photographer and long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS. Windigo is the name of a cottage on Lake Simcoe, north of Toronto, which support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS were graciously loaned, in the late 1980s and early ’90s, as a place of quiet retreat. Kenn was grateful to have been a part of several of these retreats. In one group photo he is the lone survivor, apart from the facilitators who – in the case of that particular group – were not HIV-positive.