The Wakening



on her knees

plunged the paddle

slicing swift steady strokes

urging the canoe, peeling the water’s rind

Canoe and she

became the horizon point

 seeking the lost open as water-cast wake

reached and stretched with giant gathering arms


Boy fishing

at edge of the lake

ankles clasped by water

unconscious toes kneading slimy mud

drowsy eyelids dipped and closed

while sleep dulled his senses

All the while

her silent wake approached

slapping the shore

it spread

in a stadium wave


the boy woke

realizing his first-time catch

and he heard the sound

of water laughing

Submitted to:

   Poetry Potluck Monday

  One Shot Wednesday



Filed under Poetry, Uncategorized

55 responses to “The Wakening

  1. This is terrific.

    “the lost open” – such a wonder phrase. Have you ever been to the Navajo Reservation in the southwest? You drive and drive and drive and see nothing but the landscape. I called it The Big Empty, but the lost open would work too.

    • Oooh, The Big Empty – I love it! No I have never been there; my father went there when I was just a little girl and he visited our great, great uncle, Jeff King, who lived to be about 117 years. Now that you connect the place to your wonderful phrase, it makes me want to go and sit there and be quiet for a while.

  2. you take my breath away, come to poetry potluck, have some fun…

    missed your talent,
    thrilled to see you muses up.

    • Thank you Jingle – It feels so good to be back at brokenpen’s table again in the midst of poetry and prose magicians. I’ll be glad to join potluck. Thanks so much for the invite. XXOO

  3. A+++

    you rock, a brilliant soul who is always willing to support.
    keep it up.

    bright and beautiful poem.

  4. “peeling the water’s rind”– Such a super connection. Excellent poem. 😀

    • Thanks, Matt. Years ago in Canada I studied the hand written journal of an explorer named Diamond Jenness who lived with the Salish people on the west coast in the 1800’s. These people sang a prayer to the ocean each time they launched their canoes into the water, and they apologised for parting the waves. That image stuck with me all these years, I was so intrigued about people who thought of ocean as a “being” that they should apologise to. It is what fed my poem – and me.

  5. fav lines – the boy woke /realizing his first-time catch/ and listened to the sound
    /of water laughing. great poem

    • Thank you Isabel, I’m glad you mentioned the sound – senses always surprise me when writing poetry; they produce images that dreams are made of – a little ridiculous, a bit strange, but often beautiful and a perfect description that doesn’t rely on familiar metaphor. Your blog name is lovely – “the silence of the day.” It is like an invitation that makes me stop and listen.

  6. love how you describe the boy…and the water laughing…this is brilliant cindy

  7. Nice imagery here..great read 🙂

  8. great write! I love the sound of water laughing 🙂

  9. Cindy,
    Congratulations, my friend, on your many accomplishments. I knew from the first time I met you…that you possessed a unique spiritual energy which would surely guide you to greatness, not so much for yourself but for the world. AWESOME!!!

    I look forward to reading your works and hopefully buying some to share with those special to me.

    I am sooooooo proud of you!

    Debra Igou

    • Thank you, Debra, my dear friend who always seems to me like the woman in the canoe – forging ahead and leaving a trail of open, welcoming arms – waking up the sleepers of this world and doing it by example. Thanks so much for your comments, enthusiasm and support.

  10. the water laughing is a wonderful touch…and the first time catch is heartwarming in the memories it brings…nicely played cindy

  11. I love “peeling the water’s rind” and “the sound of water laughing”… these words make it feel so alive… just a beautiful piece … somehow you and I were near the same page as we posted today…. 🙂

  12. “Peeling the water’s rind”
    phrases like this make your poetry come alive.

    Fine blog. I particularly liked “Walking on Frost”.

  13. “peeling the water’s rind”
    What a great phrase…

  14. the imagery is awesome.. 🙂 you could travel miles with the poem..the metaphor…

    wrote my entry too.

  15. I love the water laughing- lovely!

  16. “peeling the water’s rind” LOVE THIS!!!! and ” listened to the sound

    of water laughing” …gorgeous writing!

  17. This is a simply astounding piece of descriptive writing… I was there and saw and heard and felt it all.

  18. Lovely write… it paints a beautiful picture.

  19. many smiles.. 🙂
    This is so beautiful!

    the boy woke
    realizing his first-time catch
    and listened to the sound
    of water laughing

    More smiles.. 🙂 Reading you after a long time! It’s always enchanting to read you.. many Hugs xoxox

  20. Barbara Rodgers

    Paddling a canoe and “unconscious toes kneading slimy mud” bring back many childhood memories – a very evocative poem, a wonderful moment.

  21. Great use of water imagery, and your phrase “peeling the water’s rind” is exquisite. Very nicely done.

  22. “peeling the water’s rind” Love that line, well written.

  23. “seeking the lost open…”
    Something about those specific words together gives me pause. Such a vast sense of loneliness/emptiness captured in such succinct wording. Beautifully penned!

  24. Interesting how the shape of the words seem to mirror the image of the canoe you provide above it. And I can see the shape of a fish in the verses about the boy fishing. This phrase gripped me, “ankles clasped by water”. Lovely writing, enjoyed this very much!

    • Thank you wayside – The canoe shape was meant to mirror the opening, the set-mind focus and the wake; I honestly didn’t know what shape the bottom should/would be, so I played with it until it just looked right, not knowing why, only feeling that it should look ‘stuck’ and grounded versus the open above. Your revelation made me laugh – how wonderful! You found the fish! Maybe that was the real source of the water’s laughter… Well done, Anna!

  25. beautiful – really beautiful – imagery, Cindy!!! The idea of water laughing is sooo refreshing and lovely!!!

    Congratulations on the publication of your new book, my friend… you deserve all the appreciation in the world for your dedication and hard work!!
    (much love to you)

    • Thank you Kavita, for your continual encouragement and support – one of the wonderful things we get to share in this forum of writers. You always fill my heart with your bubble energy.

  26. Lovely description of the boy, and some beautiful imagery all around. Some delightful phrases in there, most evocative. Fine work.

  27. Your words are so enchanting – they create such strong imagery xx

    • Thank you once again. Sight is our main method of experiencing the world unless we are blind, and I must confess I see better than I hear or feel. Insight and outsight are equally important to me, and they often go hand in hand in my poems.

  28. I’m late here – but I have to say: this is a brilliant poem.
    It may be the best ‘shaped’ poem I’ve encountered.
    The picture is sublime, too.

  29. I am new to the blogging world…just a few weeks, and am spending a rainy Maine afternoon looking at the sites that have piqued my interest,
    This poem is wonderful and the imagery is striking. I long to be able to pull words out of my muse and paint word pictures as I do artwork.
    The comments also are fine reading to me.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

  30. As a twelve year old I loved paddling my kayak through silent bayous. The Wakening stirred fond memories. Thank you.

    • Thank you Susan. It’s always a wonderful feeling for me when my poetry touches the memory of another; since I try to connect in my writing with the things that we “beings” on earth share – whether the we refers to human or animal. What a lovely memory to fill your childhood – kayaking through bayous – oh, blessed, lucky you!

  31. i like the way you dare to use words,nicely writen.

    • Thank you, colourfade. I appreciate this coming from a person whose first language is not English. My classmates who speak/write English as their second language have taught me by their fresh approach, and often better understanding of the rules of my language, to seek new ways of expressing while using old words. If the phrase pops easily into my mind, the phrase is probably an over-used metaphor, so I have learned to sit still in the moment, visualize without words, and then try to describe the scene as if I were a child seeing for the first time. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. 🙂

  32. Difficult to decide which image is more charming. I think I’ll settle for the second one.;.there is such mirth. in watching the water laughing.. Not that the visualisation of slicing through the water isn’t impressive. I liked your explanation in of your comments above of how that image got stuck in your mind…of seeing the waters as a live being. .

    • Thank you, Nadira – I always treasure your comments and feedback. In 1970, I lived on the west coast of Canada. I read a journal written by one of the early explorers in that area, Diamond Jenness. He traveled in the early 1800s from one native village to another, recording their customs, local history, and traditional stories. One of the scenes he described moved me almost to the point of tears. As the hunters got into their canoes, they prayed to the ocean – their prayer was an apology for breaking the water’s surface, and a request to bring them home safe. They did not ask for a successful hunt, since that might alert the salmon. The words were so humble and genuine; it was the first time I was introduced to the ocean as a living being. Now I realize that everything is a living being, and we are all part of the one. Whenever I enter my kayak, I feel like I’m entering a prayer – one that never stops. And I’m always reminded of its power and grace. I too, pray for forgiveness for parting the surface. Perhaps we women understand on a deeper level what it takes to be water. We, the oceans, and men the kayaks and canoes. When they approach women with the same humility, love, and respect, their journey is made much easier and filled with beauty.

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