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The River Down the Road:
selected poems
by
Jason J. Humphreys


Copyright 2017 Jason J. Humphreys

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This book is dedicated to Audrey Sturk, my grade 12 English teacher, who said I should publish my poetry, and to my dear sweet wife, Becky, who has always had my back from the very beginning.

Contents

The Lynch Road

Flow

On Stage

E-scape

The Hall

Race

Gull

Shade

Walls

Glass

The Shed

Crows Don't Caw

Misunderstood

If You Could

You Are Me

It Comes In Waves

Scrapings

Veritas

About the Author



The Lynch Road


here…


a patch of mint

grows every spring

fed by runoff from uphill

(I made tea and wine from it once)


an old stretch of quiet

leading to clearings and

foundations of families who

still have stories to tell


it was from these woods that

I learned of and tasted

beech nuts, spruce gum, and

wintergreen


I loved trudging through

the spring thaw at that corner

where the road steepened

removing mud, needles, and leaves

from Dad’s rubber boots


picture horse and wagon

(rather than ATV)

clip-clopping

negotiating tree falls,

rocks, and washouts


often I sought out where

the old foundation used to be

where my neighbour was born

and never could I be sure

if it lay further in or not


he was part of a generation

hardened by real work

employed by the local power company

and one who had been a log driver


on the river

the one you heard without a doubt

in the distance

that came from Burnt Dam Flowage and

fed the Annapolis


this was the road where I saw

the barred owl

gliding

as silent as death

late one afternoon and

only ten feet or so away


it looked right at me

(I never forget a face)


from here I trod further in and

over the bank that lay where

the main power lines crossed

I would walk up the middle of

that river

boots on

when summer led to low water


a bend like an elbow

a pebble rock beach

my beach

for reflection and

reverie


where all was calm

(time… what is it?)

save for the trickling flow

sparrows

crows

jays and

the occasional cicada


many thanks to that

rural crèche

and roads such as this

(to quote)

less travelled

Flow


water vapour

follows the currents –

currents of air

heated by light –

light of a yellow star

that’s a perfect fit –

fit for our watery world

full of wonder –

wonder who started

speaking to me –

me and my thoughts

travel without moving –

moving my arms and legs

as I take a walk –

walk with me on

a beach of crystal sand –

sand in the hourglass

makes its way downstream –

downstream my canoe

travels the meandering rivers –

rivers of lava meet

a quenching ocean –

ocean of blue gives up

its water vapour –

On Stage


I make my way along the wall

and sit in the back corner

I order a single malt and sip slowly

(how does one drink a fire right,

smoke and all?)


the trio at the front whip up a

fine cocktail of sound

that wafts into every nook and cranny

of the lounge


I catch a glimpse of a couple

enjoying each other in quiet conversation

each drinking in the other –

she twirls her hair –

he plays shy –

yet the eyes sparkle

and their laughter mixes with the notes

almost like the bartender came up with

a new drink on the fly


as he practices his secret arts of

personal libations and pours

he adds to the tonal blend

eliciting perma-nods from the scene

(an amusing crowd of bobble heads)


the waitress makes her rounds

stops at my table

and asks if I’d like another

‘another?’

I sputter

‘oh… drink… yes,

yes, please’

thank goodness the lighting

matches the night

(can she see me redden?)


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