Thursday, July 31, 2008


Fifteen feet from the shore of Handy Lake, down the hill from my grandfather's cottage, stood a massive old willow. When I was all of seven years old, I remember my first encounter with the huge tree, whose long reach spanned even the distance to the lake shore. Its long sinuous limbs reached to the ground and dipped into the lake, as though the thirsty tree was drinking through enormous straws. I also remember running around under its canopy, reaching out to let the long limbs slide over my face and my outstretched arms.

I remember feeling watched over by the kind old willow and finding myself almost adrift in the soft green shade under the sun-dappled, swaying umbrella. I daydreamed that the ancient tree would wrap me in it limber arms and hold me, suspended, to share in the long verdant dreams of willow-kind. I still dream about that old tree...



Willow weep, both long and deep,
Touch my face with silent grace,
Softly bless with sweet caress,
And ease my weary mind.

Though it seems your dark green dreams,
Grow in part from aching heart -
Beating, blessed, within my breast -
Where none but you may find

The rocky path, unspent wrath,
And pleasures, tiny treasures,
Hid unknown and over-grown,
In places most unkind.

Yet, you're here, and persevere
To gain much, with quiet touch -
Secrets learned and wisdom earned,
As my stories unwind.

Work your will; I will stand still -
Locked in place, an empty case,
Naught to give, even to live
A life so undefined.

Point my way to golden day,
Hidden now, by leafy bough,
That will play and shift and sway,
Till brilliant day I find.

Mick McKellar
July 2008