Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lake Erie Nirvana

Living in Northeast Ohio, I think it's easy to forget what Lake Erie means to the community at large, the regional ecosystem and especially the local creative mind. From underground publications such as Swamp Erie da da Boom, to artwork such as Diane Kendig's "Ghazals on Lake Erie in Winter," to poetry such as Susan Grimm's "Lake Erie Blue," that big ol' great lake looms as a gigantic inspiration, every bit as important to the psyche as the bricks and mortar of Cleveland itself. I had a rare opportunity to spend an entire afternoon sitting on the shores of Lake Erie, up by Ashtabula, last weekend. I was reminded once again of how the lake stimulates the senses and feeds the brain. If you have not taken a Lake Erie break lately, I urge you to find some time to sit next to the lake, breathe in the air, walk in the water, feel the breeze zipping off the waves, listen to the seagulls, let the sand and rocks fall through your fingers. Here's a poem that fell out of my head while sitting on a broken chair on the beach:

lake erie nirvana #67

where the sky meets lake erie,
where lake erie meets the beach,
the layers connect to the vast
expanse of land falling south,
and i am nothing of consequence
here, not a wave in motion, not
a bird in flight, not a hidden fish.
that which i hold too tight, lets go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Strange... I was almost certain I'd already commented on this.

I dig this poem. I've had the same sort of Taoist experience or vibe while sitting on certain Erie beaches(most recently in Vermilion), but never felt I could satisfactorily express it in words. I believe you've done it well here, Mark.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau