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Published by aohrenstein, 2015-12-16 12:12:58

TheOquagaSpirit

TheOquagaSpirit

1

The Oquaga Spirit
Speaks

by David Ohrenstein

Dedicated to my wife, Sharon,and three children - Abe, Kathryn, and Daniel,
who enjoyed wonderful summers at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House with me.
Oquaga Lake is located up the mountain from Deposit, NY in the foothills of the
Catskill Mountains just across the border to Pennsylvania. This spring-fed lake is
rated the cleanest in New York and at points is over 150 feet deep. The lake’s
diameter is about a mile across and its outline resembles a bear thus, the Native
American name it acquired in 1903 is Oquaga.

Copyright 1995 David Ohrenstein
5315 Laurelwood Place
Sarasota, FL 34232

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF OQUAGA LAKE POETRY

-i-

A Butterfly……………………………………………………………………p.6
A Giant‘s Massive Yawn……………………………………………….p.7
A Good Night’s Sleep……………………………………………………p.8
A Riddle……………………………………………………………………….p.9
A Sleepy Sun………………………………………………………………..p.10
A Southern Visitor……..…………………………………………........p.11
A Starry Night…….………………………………………………………..p.12
Adieux……..…………………………………………………………………..p.13
Another Autumn…………………………………………………………..p.14
Aspirations……………………………………………………………………p.15
Autumn’s Party…………………………………………………………….p.16-17
Black-Eyed Susan………………………………………………………….p.18
Bluestone Mountain…………………………………………………….p.19
Boats on the Lake…………………………………………………………p.20-21
Breakfast at Frog Pond Farm………………………………………..p.22
But Wait, I See A Ray!......................................................p.23
Change…………………………………………………………………………p.24-25
Early in August……………………………………………………………..p.26
Floral Fireworks……………………………………………………………p.27
Font of Creativity………………………………………………………….p.28-29
Footsteps of the Poet…………………………………………………..p.30
Future Fog…………………………………………………………………….p.31
Get Thee a Walking Stick………………………………………………p.32
Holy Land……………………………………………………………………..p.33
Indian summer……………………………………………………………..p.34
Ivy Towers…………………………………………………………………….p.35
July……………………………………………………………………………….p.36
Just to Say Hello……………………………………………………………p.37

-ii-

Kissing in the Kitchen………………………………………………….p.38
Leaves…………………………………………………………………………p.39
Like a Mountain Be…..…………………………………………………p.40
Little Lakers…………………………………………………………………p.41
Living Around the Lake………………………………………………..p.42
Make a Wish………………………………………………………………..p.43
Maple Tree Seeds………………………………………………………...p.44
Masonville Day……………………………………………………………..p.45
Nature’s Waltz……………………………………………………………...p.46
Nature’s Still the Same/ The Poet as Walker…………………p.47
Never, Never Sit Still……………………………………………………..p.48
News……………………………………………………………………………..p.49
Night Lights……………………………………………………………………p.50
Ode to Autumn……………………………………………………………..p.51
Ode to Oquaga………………………………………………………………p.52
Of Fog and Spirits…………………………………………………………..p.53
Of Gold and Berries………………………………………………………..p.54
Of Sailors and Hikers………………………………………………………p.55
Oquaga Offerings……………………………………………………………p.56
Pain…………………………………………………………………………………p.57
Paint By Number……………………………………………………………..p.58
Pine Quills……………………………………………………………………….p.59
Puzzles…………………………………………………………………………….p.60
5 Quatrains………………………………………………………………………p.61
Queen Ann’s Lace & Female Designer Maverick………………p.62
Rustle, Rustle, Rustle Goes the Wind……………………………....p.63
Scott’s Showboat of Song………………………………………………...p.64-65
Seasoning…………………………………………………………………………p.66
September……………………………………………………………………….p.67
Shangri-la…………………………………………………………………………p.68
Tall Trees………………………………………………………………………….p.69-70

-iii-

The Bird with the Drill………………………………………………………p.71
The Changing of the Guard……………………………………………….p.72
The Fun Not Had……………………………………………………………….p.73-74
The Last day of July………………………………………………………..p.75
The Maple Leaf and the Butterfly…………………………………..p.76
The Morning Sun/The Sacred Calm of Mind……………………p.77
The Oquaga Spirit…………………………………………………………..p.78-79
The Philosopher’s Path……………………………………………………p.80-81
The Tastes and Smells of Autumn……………………………………p.82
The Winds of Change………………………………………………………p.83
The Woodwinds……………………………………………………………...p.84
Train Whistle……………………………………………………………………p.85
Vistas……………………………………………………………………………….p.86-87
Weary Dreary…………………………………………………………………..p.88-89
Why God Created Man…………………………………………………….p.90

A BUTTERFLY And as I turned around
To marvel at this sight,
I left the farmhouse late His wings were amply warmed
That cold August morn. And he resumed his flight:
It was eleven o’clock
The day was already born. Back to that quaint old church
To patch that empty spot;
Before me was a butterfly, Those that worship while sitting,
A gorgeous work of art. Of his departure will know not.
It stood upon the ground,
Its wings were spread apart.

Like a stained glass window,
Sections outlined in black,
Delicate orange and yellow
Filled in the remaining slack.

Catching rays of sunshine
Under a strong breeze,
Though it tried to fly,
It rose as high as my knees.

Here’s a place a worship,
That colorful butterfly.
A stained glass left the church
And I was walking by.

Most worship as they sit
Under covered church on pew.
To worship will you walk
Is only for a few.

A GIANT’S MASSIVE YAWN

Baby leaves and buds
Ready to unfold;

Sticks no longer bare
Because of winter’s cold.

The breath of spring is like
A giant’s massive yawn
Shedding off his sleep

Greeting a warmer dawn.

Birds singing to each other
Awakened and aware;
No longer dulling white,

At healthy green they stare.

A drizzle has just begun;
It’s nature’s pearly drops

Polishing her spring-
She needs not brooms or mops.

And as I walk on by,
I pass a four-leaf clover;
Each leaf is like a season
Through which I am a rover

A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

The morning lake in July
Has no wrinkles or crinkles.
Its flat façade gently flows
Marked only by a few sprinkles.

Just like a youthful lad
Whose skin smooth and healthy;
Without a care and trouble free

As if he was quite wealthy.

But later in the day
When the winds begin to blow
And boats are out by the dozens

It’s then that age will show.

With the next morning’s rising sun,
The lake is once more new-

Like us, after a good night’s sleep;
We dispel all feelings of blue.

A RIDDLE It was a bunch of fifty,
Brown with shades of pink
What’s prettier than the flowers And touches of royal purple.
Famed in antiquity Its passing made me think.
Hanging from Babylon’s towers
For all men to see… It is said, we miss a tree
When we look into the woods
More tinted than the blooms And here some humble leaves
That grow in gardens south Outdid the floral goods!
Deep in the heart of Dixie
By Mississippi’s mouth…

More glorious than the bouquets
Bought at a local florist
Or the pretty wild flowers
That grow up in the forest….

Or in a city greenhouse,
Botanical gardens are they,
While the adults read Latin name
The children are at play….

All this beautiful bounty
What possible can surpass?
This seems to be a riddle
Without an answer, alas.

But on a morning jaunt,
A small branch blew by me
With leaves of autumn’s color
From a stately old oak tree.

A SLEPPY SUN

With autumn in the air
Let her stay under wrap
The Sun seems rather shy
At 7:30 AM
She’s still not in the sky.

Peeking through the trees
Hovering at lowered arc,
On her skyward thrust
She has yet to embark.

Perhaps, the Sun likes sleeping in
Because of cooler days…
Who likes to leave their blankets
When warm they’d rather stay?

Perhaps, the Sun’s just tired
This cool and misty hour…
Ignoring the bells in the steeple
Now ringing eight times in the
tower?

Perhaps the Sun’s not well
And chooses to stay in bed…
Putting on blankets of clouds
And a towel over her head?

Let her stay under wrap
And sleep a little longer.
She’s worked overtime all summer
And needs her rest to get stronger.

A SOUTHERN VISITOR

A continuous wind blows.
The sky is grey-orange blue.

Leaves constantly rattle,
And fog hovers over the dew.

It blows warm from the South,
Humid today with gusts.

The Sun is low and pale-orange;
It’ll rain today, I trust.

A tropical wind is here
Visiting from southern shore;
From islands in the Caribbean
Where it rains and heat soars.

With it come some stories
Of pirates, travel and lust,
Jewels, ransom and plunder
Where laws are never just.

It speaks of ruthless captains
And mutiny aboard the ship
Of walking the gangplank, swordfights
And many an ill-fated trip.

The wind is just a visitor,
A traveler with tall tales,
A wind that northward wandered
Blowing in gales and sails.

But like the restless sojourner,
It’ll return to where it came:
To that southern exotic shore
Leaving us never the same.

A STARRY NIGHT Real bubbles pop
Almost right away;
Out here, in total darkness His spheres last all night
In the middle of the night; Until the Sun’s first ray.
No lights of man are found
The Moon is out of sight. And so he plays at night
Blowing bubbles at will
Without a cloud above Filling the night with star shine…
The sky is full of stars; Never sitting still.
Millions, perhaps billions,
With Jupiter and Mars.

Tiny bubbles of light,
Floating in outer space,
Approaching infinity-
More numerous than the human race

From where did they all come?
Who put them there and why?
Perhaps, they’re angelic candles
Or, celestial fireflies?

Into the Big Dipper
God lowered his wand,
Drawing millions of bubbles
From his heavenly pond.

He waved it up and down
And to the left and right…
Out came lighted bubbles
Everywhere in flight.

ADIEUX

The summer fun is done-
Like burnt wood in a flame;

Only glowing embers
And memories to place in a frame.

But oh, how those embers
Are full of reverie.

I see in them the summer,
And I’m sure the summer sees me.

And many a fire will burn
In crackling fireplace
Until the folks return,

Once more to their special place.

The ground is flooded with leaves.
Daily the temperature dips.

Our bags and boxes are packed.
We’re readied for southern trip.

I bid you spirit, adieux
At least for ninety-four.
Next year, when I return,
We’ll talk a little more.

ANOTHER AUTUMN

The field is alive
With morning electricity.
Each stalk’s an antenna
That enhances felicity.

The crickets give voice
To the pulse of the field.

The power of the day
In chirping they wield.

The message sent
By their rhythmic beats

Translates to Fall
And pumpkin treats.

The summer was torrid,
Humid and hot.
Now cool air
Will be our lot.

I too chirp,
But with my pen,
Happy to relive

Autumn again.

ASPIRATIONS

Beaming down on the lake,
A beautiful sunrise broke through;

The fresh air was invigorating,
Skies were clear and blue.

And as I went to town,
I drove down the steep slope.
So thick and white was the fog,

I almost started to choke.

I completed the needed trip
Returning with food and supplies.

And as I scaled the ascent,
I was in for a big surprise:

The dense fog disappeared
And skies were once more blue.
What below seemed dismal and dreary

Up high was fresh and new.

So are aspirations
Affected by ones goals;
For if you keep them high,
You never hit the shoals.

The mind stays fresh and clear
As you rise above the clouds.
Happiness is found in heights-
While below are only shrouds.

AUTUMN’S PARTY

Autumn’s throwing a party
On a massive scale

With acorns, squash and pumpkins
Wine, cider and ale.

Everyone’s preparing
For that special night-
Ghosts, goblins and witches,
Things that cause a fright.

But, on that darkened evening
In the air is glee,

As children don their costumes,
Making revelry.

“Trick or treat’s” the cry
That fills the nighttime air
And when you open your door,
At devils and demons do you stare.

“Boo!” yells a ghost
Barely three feet tall.
“Careful,” you reply
“Or down the stairs you’ll fall.”

The barren, eerie trees
Against a brightly lit Moon…

Black cats dashing by,
While overhead bats swoon.

What a scary party,
Delight in fright it seems.
Orange and black banners?

It must be Halloween!

A pumpkin farm in upstate New York. Picture was taken as the Sun was setting.
The ominous clouds in the skies are the harbinger of a great and scary Halloween!

BLACK-EYED SUSAN

On my daily walks,
I passed a single flower;
A Black-eyed Susan, it was,
Alone to guard a tower.

It marked a forest entry
And daily greeted me;
With a bright and yellow smile
Under shaded forest tree.

For weeks, it stood its ground
Always looking new.
How long will it last

Until its season’s through?

Then, one day, in August,
I wondered if it was there:
A miracle! Two Susans greeted me:
A mother and daughter pair!

BLUESTONE MOUNTAIN

A mountain of magical stone,
A giant wall of rock,
Quarried in antiquity

To build a famous clock.

Shaped into evolving circles
By which lunar cycles were timed;

And with it the arc of the Sun
Was harmonized in rhyme.

This mandala, wrought of bluestone,
A mystery yet it be;

Is called by the name, Stonehenge
That so many still flock to see.

On a mountain of bluestone dwell I
Next to Oquaga Lake’s shore.

With the harmonious peace all around,
It’s seems like Stonehenge- at its core.

BOATS ON THE LAKE

Sailboats gently gliding
Across wind rippled water;

Sails bowed by breeze
Making canvas tauter.

These boats with rig
Seem like colorful butterflies…

Brightly painted sails
Aimlessly fluttering by.

Suddenly, another appears
But this boat has no sails-

Just a buzzing motor
Making waves like whales!

The blissful peace is shattered
As it noisily circles the lake.

Buzzing, humming, drumming…
Leaving a giant wake.

This boat is like the fly
That angrily circles the walker;

Buzzing around his head
With the sting of a stealthy stalker

We often move too quickly
As we cross life’s lake-
Noisily going in circles
As harmony we forsake.

So glide just like the sailboat;
Be blown by nature’s breeze.
The lake prefers the ripples

And not the choppy seas

THE LAKE PREFERS THE RIPPLES; AND NOT THE CHOPPY SEAS

PIANIST-POET DAVID SEATED AT THE PIANO ON THE SHOW BOAT

BREAKFAST AT FROG And then there was the mill
POND FARM That pressed and churned the juice.
It made so loud a sound,
The cat jumped on the table We thought its bolts were loose.
That breakfast at Frog Pond Farm;
He helped himself to butter, The sights, the sounds, the tastes,
And thought it did no harm. The smells that fill the air
Announce Oktoberfest,
The open tent was set upright That bountiful harvest to share.
Saturday, October first.
The portions were so big, And as we drove away,
We thought that we would burst. A rain began to fall;
Coming down with leaves-
Pancakes as large as boulders, October… is here for all.
Sausages on the side.
Apples and cider were free,
Our stomachs we tried to hide!

Pumpkins by the hundreds
On the stand out in front
Every type of squash
From the giant to the runt.

The squawking goose and gander
Would start a deafening chatter.
Their honking called the kids
Whose breakfast didn’t matter.

Colored corn in stalks-
Garlic in wreaths and braids-
Cows and goats peeping over,
Quick! Call the milking maids!

BUT WAIT, I SEE A RAY!

Smokey-grayish clouds
Billowy, thick and blowing

Multi-layered strata,
The Sun is nowhere showing.

The clouds give pale complexion
To fair skin down below.
Be it slightly cooler,

It certainly would start to snow.

Cold and damp together
Penetrate the skin

And chill right to the bone
On the portly as well as thin.

But wait, I see a ray!
The Sun has just shown through.
That little, short lived, glimmer

Outdid the grayish-blue.

And even though it vanished
Behind the cloudy smoke,
Its memory radiates faith
In ordinary folk.

CHANGE

A warm day in autumn;
The chilly days have lifted.

Vibrant colors abound;
The sands of time have shifted.

September’s maple tree
Has spiraled leaves in red…

So intense in tone
It looks as though it’s bled.

The tallish stalks of grass
Have turned to tannish-brown

Hiding chirping crickets
That make so loud a sound.

The ferns have also faded
That cover forest floor;
Leaves line the road

With fallen acorns galore.

The walker is bathed by color-
Washed by painted patches;

All the rainbow’s hues-
As bright as burning matches.

Though the path’s the same
As the one trod on before,
It’s totally changed by time
And recognized no more.

And so the sands of time
Kept shifting by the hour.
The change that painted autumn
Will color springtime’s flower.

SEPTEMBER’S MAPLE TREE HAS SPIRALLED LEAVES IN RED
On the path that encircles Oquaga Lake

EARLY IN AUGUST

FLORAL FIREWORKS

At darkness come the bangs,
Yielding colors galore;

The roaring, cheering crowd
Just asks for more and more.

Such events are fireworks
And special are the days
Loved by adults and children
Are sky lit firework displays.

But yet what are flowers?
Though closer to the ground…

And visible in daylight
Are nature’s fireworks found.

Fireworks frozen in flower
Last the whole day long-
Not only for a moment
Do the colors sing their song.

Flowers celebrate creation!
Fireworks -for festivals only.

Flowers on a daily basis
Make the fireworks seem quite lonely.

But, why not imitate
That spark of God divine?
For God did make the grapes;
So man could make the wine.





FOOTSTEPS OF THE POET

The Poet’s on the prowl
Looking for his prey;
Seeing which subject

He’ll write about today.

He beats the morning Sun
To catch beams of words.
Sometimes his eyes are blurry-
The hour seems absurd.

But in that magic hour
Before the Sun is up,
And twilight still has traces,
It’s then that he will sup.

He trods the lonely road
With pen and pad in hand
And his trusty walking stick
Over stone and dirt and sand.

He sees and hears what’s there,
Then plucks it for his own;
Mostly uncommon to man-
All organically grown

He casts his gaze on fields
And distant mountain tops.
As he writes like a madman,
The inspiration never stops.

All that, just for the taking.
Millions should there be;

Pen and pad in hand
Writing poetry.

FUTURE FOG

We see the future in a fog
And know not what it brings;

It’s milky, dense and thick
And hides most everything.

We hardly know tomorrow-
If it bring joy or sorrow
Or if it just be plain

Like slow and steady rain.

We know not how things shape up
Until the fog has lifted

But then, the future is the present
As time has just been shifted.

But though we cannot see through,
We still my smell and hear...

By keeping other senses sharp,
We then can tell what’s near.

For sound penetrates the fog
And smell drifts through the haze;

By keeping all senses sharp,
We see ahead the days.

GET THEE A WALKING
STICK

It rained the night before; The orchestra, everywhere is heard;
The streams and brooks are full… Not only at symphony hall.
Gurgling down the mountain And tickets cost not a penny
Feeling gravity’s pull. Spring, winter, summer or fall.

The noisy crows are cawing, What a spectrum of sounds
Giant birds in flight- Does the morning walker hear!
So much noise they make He’s more alert and alive…
Before the Sun in bright! Than if awakened by Paul Revere!!

A rabbit leaped and jumped If it’s life you wish to live,
As I left my abode; And enjoy it to the marrow…
The morning air was chilly Then, get thee a walking stick
As on my walk I strode. And hear the morning sparrow.

I heard a distant rooster
Add to the early noise.
As daybreak waved her baton,
The morning orchestra was poised.

Flowing brooks like strings,
The crows are quite the horns.
Other birds are woodwinds
While drums of man are born

A car makes grating noises
As it struggles up a hill.
A train rumbles miles away;
Its whistle gives me a thrill.

HOLY LAND Where an acorn drops,
And crickets chirp away,
A walk far back in time And songbirds sing their song,
Not only a change of place
To an era that’s eternal Is where time holds no sway.
With vast and open space.

VIEW FROM OUR COTTAGE NAMED “Laurels”

Before civilization came The undercoat of color
Leaving its mark on shore Of leaves upon a tree
With the advent of money The red of middle August
And need for things galore. Painted so delicately

For money is of man Where nature sings her song
Nature is of God Unfolding by her plan
Where the ground is natural Just as she kept it going
On holy land you trod. Before the presence of man

So if you seek escape,
Do so in space and time:
Away from the gadgets of man
And to the naturally sublime.

INDIAN SUMMER

Fall blew in today
Overtaking summer;
While summer took her time,
Fall was a quicker runner.

He came with trumpet fanfare
Running on a cool, North breeze,

Falling many leaves…
Bending branches on trees.

Summer was caught by surprise
By autumn’s sudden sprint

As he whooshed right by her,
Brushing her leaves with tint.

Under grey sky cover
With thick and fluffy clouds,
This challenger ran right past
To cheering fans and crowds.

“But wait”, says summer, she.
“He cannot keep his pace…

This young impetuous challenger
Thinking he’ll win this race.”

Summer, a wise old Indian,
Will wait ‘till fall slows down
Then run as fast as she can

Before he turns around.

He’ll then regain the season
Warming hill and tree…

A beautiful Indian summer
For all of us she’ll be.

IVY TOWERS

They perch on the porch
Hidden in the flowers;
Gazing down at us
From their ivy towers
Colorful birds,
Of every size:
From the humming bird
To the owl so wise.
A forgotten place,
On a mountain top;
Where life is golden
And strife has stopped.
Enjoy the moment
As it passes by.
Accept its presence-
And do not ask why.

Christie Inn at Scotts overlooking the lake. A favorite spot for birds

JULY

The summer green of July,
The whizzing by of a fly,

The purple blooms of clover,
The hiking gypsy rover…

July is in floral bloom
As overhead birds swoon.
A scented summer breeze
Wafts through the boughs of trees.

Moths flutter by-
Passing the colorful butterfly.

The bumble bee’s in flight
Giving children a fright.

Lilacs grace the road
As past them hops the toad.

Birds chirp all around
Eating wild berries that abound.

The lazy haze of July
Makes for rest, not try.
The Sun stays overhead…
The vacationer stays in bed.

July is summer’s crown
As long lit days abound.
The queens of siesta is she;
Cares, like kites, fly free.

JUST TO SAY “HELLO”

I’m walking at 6 a.m.
To visit my aunt far away;
I’m going to say “hello”,
‘Got nothing particular to say.

The Sun rising over the fields
Makes flowers come live;

The Queen Ann’s lace is whitened
While cornflowers and daises thrive.

A deer bounds past in the woods
Going to, I know not where…
Perhaps to visit her aunt,
As she leaps into the air.

How often we visit kin
Just for wedding or death.
Ties of relatives are strained;

Thin and out of breath.

Yet on I walk the mountains,
To pay my aunt a call;

That’s why aunt Bessie calls me-
Her favorite nephew of all.

KISSING IN THE KITCHEN

The heat’s on in the kitchen.
I saw them kissing today;
Not to mention hugging,
A prelude to more play.

As the vegetables steam,
And the meat’s roasting away;
I saw them kissing in the kitchen-

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Boy, the heat is rising
Boiling potatoes in pot…
I saw them kissing in the kitchen;
And they were doing it a lot!

Is this a kitchen romance?
Where will it go from here?
Perhaps to a cozier room?
Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!

LEAVES

In summer, leaves are rocking
As the wind blows by.

In autumn they seem to quiver,
From cool and windy skies.

In summer, leaves sway gently
To a visiting breath of breeze.
In autumn, they’re chattering teeth
As cold rushes through trees.
In summer, leaves move smoothly
With barely an audible sound.
But in autumn, they tremble and crackle

And finally-hit the ground.

Scott’s Show Boat ready to take the guests on an autumn leaf tour.
You cannot believe how much fun has been had on this little, humble boat.

LIKE A MOUNTAIN BE

It rained for many a day
Before the flood gates stopped;
Down came avalanches of water

From the mountain top.

For days after the deluge
The trickles turned to streams,
Streams gushed even harder,
As water came down in reams.

At the top it murmured-
At the bottom it roared:
From barely audible sounds
To a mighty thundering sword.

To gain such momentum
From a mountain must you start;

For hills make only spills
On plains the rain’s just art

Build yourself daily
Like a mountains be
Adding to your substance

And your ability.

So when you make an imprint,
It comes down like a flood;
And not just like a puddle
That stands on top of mud.

LITTLE LAKERS All is fun and games
On this bright August morn;
Today’s a day for kids
From all around the lake. Excitement is in the air
Those who dwell in cottages, And none seems forlorn.
In field and track partake
What a wonderful way
The air is cold and crisp; To meet those across the lake.
The sun is warm and bright. There’s the burlap bag run…
Dogs stroll with their owners- They’re tripping for heaven’s sake!
The kids chatter in delight.

Anxiously, they await the whistle
Clustering in little groups:
Ten here, twenty there-
Like military troops

The grass is slippery and wet;
Little feet kick up the due.

They crowd is young and spry-
All wear athletic shoe

Boys four to six years old
Are lined up ready to pace.
The crowd cheers them on…
The tall one wins the race

Little girls run next-
Hair in braids and ponies.
The tallest slips and falls!
Who cares about Oscars and Tonys?

Living Around the Lake People anticipate the seasons
Be it summer or fall…
With Memorial Day they come Choosing to listen instead,
To Oquaga Lake by the dozens. To the Memorial and Labor Day call.
Parents, sons and daughters,
Aunts, uncles and cousins. But then that’s syncopation-
An accent used in jazz:
The holiday bell has rung; Emphasizing the upbeat,
The cottagers circle the ring. Summer fun and razz-a-ma-tazz.
Around the lake they’ll live
For another summer fling. How separate and special
This compact cottage life.
Who cares about June 21, To live so close to nature…
The official start of summer. Husband, child and wife
They ignore the solstice fife
In favor of the Memorial drummer. Stay and play on Oquaga Lake

Before then all is quiet.
So empty does it seem.
To walk around the lake,
Is like a ghost town dream.

June, July and August
It’s a giant stay and play.
Boating, skiing, swimming-
Just fun, no summer dismay.

But then comes Labor Day
Before the fall downbeat….
People abruptly vacate;
Cool air’s replaced the heat.

The cycle’s come full circle.
It’s quiet and deserted-
Back to a ghost town dream
Has the lake reverted.

MAKE A WISH

I often passed a home
On my daily walk…

With a small pond out in front
As to myself I’d talk.

Little did I think
Of this watery site;
It decorated the home
And made an attractive invite.

One day as I strolled
Right by this natural pool,
I muttered to myself a wish-

So big, I seemed a fool!

My wish did soon come true-
Everything I asked!

The pond was a wishing well
That wore a clever mask.

I rare find it was…
Like a four-leaf clover,
Found only once in a while-
By a wandering, poetic rover.

MAPLE TREE SEEDS

Helicopter blade seeds,
Spinning as they drop,
Blowing in the wind-
Care not where they’ll stop.

These maple navigators:
Sugar, silver and red-

Hope for only one thing…
And that’s that they’ll be bred.

David holding an incredible split- colored maple leaf

MASONVILLE DAY

Anxiously, they hovered in a circle…
Adults by the dozens did shout
Making a ring so tight
I wondered what it was about.

I made my way to the center
Of the woven wreath of people
Standing in a drizzle in Masonville,

At the church by the steeple.

Masonville Day it was
With horse and buggy ride,
Vendors displaying goods,
And vegetable harvest pride.

Kids were bundled in coats
In middle September’s cold-
Grownups, clutching scarves
While holding wares that sold.

I finally made it through-
Then added to the commotion;

It was the annual frog jump,
No wonder all the emotion!

And one proud boy emerged
Whose frog had jumped the best.

He gave the frog a kiss,
You can imagine the rest.

The town came out of nowhere;
And as I drove away,

It called me back again-
For next year’s Masonville Day.

NATURE’S WALTZ

Nature loves to waltz…
She moves in ¾ time
Like a dancer’s feet
Or my beats of rhyme.

Swaying to the wind
With undulating motions,

Rocking back and forth
To triple meter potions.

Like a ballerina
With swan-like grace and ease;

Dancing an adage,
Arms and legs to please.

Grass waves in the wind
Always in an arc.

Branches circle about
As breezes blow through the park.

A pebble tossed in a pond-
Circles does it make.
One follows the other

Leaving a bull’s eye wake.

The eternal comes in three,
Only on a higher plane,

Where nature’s curves are found
In the space and time refrain.

Man likes duple meters-
His triple meters wane
Return ye, to the waltzes of Vienna;
And the vibrant boleros of Spain!

NATURE’S STILL THE SAME

The king’s night was rough,
But the dawn still came.

The king tossed and turned,
But nature’s still the same.

Nations come and go;
Powers rise and fall.
Yet, spring still comes as it should
As autumn comes on call.

THE POET AS WALKER

Do not write too much;
Walk with utmost speed.
Today’s a day for exercise-
Your muscles must you feed.

A lean and sinuous body
For a mind that packs a punch.
Keep up that quickened pace,

Later you can have lunch.

NEVER, NEVER SIT STILL

Be like the wind to renew-
Circulate and blow through.

Keeping in motion
Is youth’s potion.
Never, never sit still.

Air that sits in mass-
Stifles and doesn’t pass.

It grows stale
And makes one pale.
Never, never sit still.

The swamp decays
On still born days-
The stagnant calls for storm…

Keep the heart pumping!
Keep the mind thinking!

Never, never sit still.

NEWS

Mercury- Hermes ran past
Wearing wing-tipped shoes.
I asked him why he hurried?

He said, he carried news.

And so, it is with man
Who must be in the know,
News must travel quickly

Or in the trash it goes.

He dashes to the station
Where it will be broadcast

At the speed of light-
To regions remote and vast.

But I just take my time
Walking down the path.
Hermes carries statistics;
I enjoy nature’s math.

NIGHT LIGHTS

Around 9 PM,
The night does cast a hue
Around the hills and lake

Of velvety, navy blue.

Lights on porch and dock
And hotel waterside

Glitter around the shore-
Markers do they provide.

They mirror in the lake,
Only pulled and longer
Looking like elongated bulbs
Shimmering and shining in water

Splatters of yellow paint
On a navy blue backdrop;
So evening tour boats know
Where on night’s canvas to stop.

Nature supplies the blue
To which man adds the yellow:
A venture between night and man:

This work of art is mellow.

Slowly, the lights are dimmed
As the vacationers fall sleep.
The velvety blue takes over,
Sweet dreams and repose, they keep.


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