Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I wrote this for my granddaughter, Chloe, who turned twenty years old this month. A few days after her birthday celebration with all the family, we had a little picnic at Bowman's Creek - just the two of us - chicken salad, homemade pickles, peaches, iced tea with limes. We had the place to ourselves that day. We had a good time sitting there by the water - talking about the past, wondering about the future. Chloe tells me the most interesting things, too. She amazes me, really. She has always lived away from us, but comes to stay here in the summer. So, our relationship is a special one. We have to pack a lot into those few weeks! While watching her wade out into the creek, singing to the fish - this poem was already forming. Oh, and Bowman's Creek is a place where we have always gone. We used to swim in the cold currents years ago and ride the "rapids" in an inner tube. I would take the kids all summer long, before the pool. We used to have big family picnics there, too. (Oh, those halcyon days of years ago.) I guess this seems like a big intro for a short poem, but - as you all know, I am all about brevity in my poetry...I try to say a lot in as few words as possible. Hopefully, it has worked here.


The time of water is over
and most of our sun is gone -
wrapped in a filmy gauze
left over from our days of
sweet and soft iridescence.

But before that –
her skin had reflected water,
as she waded up to her knees
in the cold swirling creek,
singing to the fishes that hid
among the mossy ledges, imploring
them to eat bread from her hands.

And there, by the huge sycamores
that rose up mottled around us,
I felt like time had reeled back
and we were the universe again,
and we were the ancient mystery
that we had always been.


trooping with crows said...

"the time of water is over"
What a brilliant line! It sounds so cyptic even though the meaning is clear...soon, it will be winter and it'll all be ice! (That's how I see it anyway!) Love the last stanza the best...Bowman's Creek looks so ancient that it's hard not to be inspired to write using words like "universe" and "ancient mystery" When you are there, it's like you wouldn't even be surprised to see a dinosaur or a cave person pass by! Totally beautiful and meaningful. Can't wait for Chloe to read it!

Karen said...

What a beautiful tribute to Chloe, to youth, to your special relationship, and to living. I can picture the two of you there on this special day.

Gorgeous runs in your family!

Okie Prof said...

I'm crying...I am blessed to know and read you. You put into words what I feel. She is beautiful. Serendipity...I hate that word, have to look it up...Moonlight in Vermont is playing on my blog. I've just seen the new official USAF photo of my oldest son. How do you express love so well? Thank you poet.

Vesper said...

This is immensely magical, Kaye... Thank you, and thank you also for the 'big intro' - it shares the poetry...

I can't help but notice the beautiful resemblance between Chloe's picture and yours...

joaquin carvel said...

a hearty second to what's already been said - brilliant, beautiful, magical. and yes, "gorgeous runs in your family".

it's amazing from the first to the last, but that last stanza - i just wanted to reach out and grab it. and i know this is for chloe - but i just can't help thinking what an incredible mother and grandmother you must be. as wonderful as this poem is, what could compare to all the moments and memories like these you've given them?

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Riss - yes, the days are passing quickly now..signs of autumn everywhere - our bohemian days of summer are coming to and end. I thought you would like the "Clan of the Cave Bear" aka Bowman's Creek setting. I'm sending this to Chloe - so she will read it soon.

Karen, thank you for that nice compliment. You're sweet. We did have the loveliest of times...very relaxed and tranquil. Well, during our car trip there we did sing along with "System of A Down" some of it was loud and crazy! =P

Terry - wow...thank you from the bottom of my heart, friend. You are always so encouraging! I would love to see that picture of your son! xo

Hi Vesper, I've missed you. I appreciate your kind comment so much. Thanks for the compliment! :)))

Joaquin - What a beautiful thing to say. Thank you, friend. You have hit upon the depth of our connection. As many moments as I give, I get that many and more in return from each and everyone. <3

Dave King said...

I found that very moving. Easy to relate to. So glad to have found this blog.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Dave, isn't that what's wonderful about poetry. We see how connected we really are on this planet. Thanks for stopping by!

Martin H. said...

Beautiful poem.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Martin - thank you so much. :)

Bob said...

Kaye, I loved catching up on your recent work this morning, but I have to say this one has touched me the most today... beautiful work done with beautiful memories... wonderful.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Bob - I am always so happy when you stop by. Thanks for the great comment. Glad "For Chloe" resonated with you.