- Poets of 2009 Contest

Toward the end of 2008, Alex Thompson suggested we have an Algonquin Adventures poetry contest. What transpired was our first poetry contest. It ran from November 15th, 2008 to March 21st, 2010. Alex took on the duty of being the judge.

The results are now in ... " Poets of 2009" ..1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Thanks to everyone who participated.

. . . Barry Bridgeford (April 6th, 2009)

Entries and Winners

1. For A Friend
    by Tom Yates
2. The Far Shore
    by Martin Avery
3. Voyagers
    by - S. A. McCormick
4. The Sweetest of Dreams
    by - Allyn S. > 1st PLACE <
5. Tom Thomson By Canoe Lake
    by - Melody Richardson
6. Morning Mist
    by - Bruce Liddle > 3rd PLACE <
7. Dragonfly
    by - Graham Ducker
8. Ode To The Water Strider
    by - Graham Ducker > 2nd PLACE <
9. The Evening Sentinel
    by - Graham Ducker
10. A Red-Tailed Hawk
    by - Kathy Purc
11. Canoe Trip 2008
    by - John Scarlett
12. Novonquin Haiku
    by - L.D. Love
13. Algonquin Evening On Cache Lake
    by - Russell Barr
14. Algonquin Morning On Cache Lake
    by - Russell Barr
15. The Hunter
    by - Russell Barr

For A Friend

On liquid sunshine.
Rocky shores, near tall pine.

Under northern lake.
For a life long mate.

Over canyon and falls.
The loneliest of calls.

Under the glowing moon.
The majestic Loon.

by Tom Yates
November 2008
(# 1)

The Far Shore

Tom Thomson, Ken Danby, and I were

paddling through the park, comparing

At the Crease, 1972, and Jack Pine, 1916,

as we crossed Canoe Lake. They argued

the various merits of post-impressionism and

photographic realism.“They’re both

national symbols,” I said. Then we compared

rivers formed by glaciers during the last

ice age. Thompson said he liked the route from

Canoe to Burntroot Lake, but

Danby said he liked Manitou

to North Tea Lake.

“What about the Muskoka?” I said.

They just shook their heads.

“Ah, what do you guys know?” I said.

“You’re both dead!”

by Martin Avery
November 2008
(# 2)


Our paddles dip
cut glass water
united slices
thrust us forward progress imperceptible

we tire, stamp
shoreline with our eyes
energy spent
seeming simplicity
we burn effort

the river widens
somehow becomes wild
unseen force
blows us off course

we struggle
against power
makes us small
poor flies, grasping
onto handles

blown into bay
trees shelter
we coast, accept
close enough to goal
land on shore
marvel at how far
we’ve come.

by - S. A. McCormick
November 2008
(# 3)

The Sweetest of Dreams

the sweetest of dreams
blue, green, grey painted scenes
lazy lakes, rivers, and streams
wispy wilderness themes

a bit of what could have been
in a world without sin
she awakens within
as she breathes it all in

the sun warms her face
the world slows its pace
changes take place
with mercy and grace

as she sways with the breeze
the dark spirit flees
her mind is appeased
the soul ache is eased

on waters she rides
deep, dark and wide
all fears tossed aside
she is safe with her guide

she casts all her cares
he offers up prayers
all that nature declares
nothing even compares

to the way he makes her feel
emotions reveal
so alive so surreal
her perfect ideal

day fades to night
moon’s beautiful light
stars take their flight
fire's dances delight

overwhelming breathtaking
this place, his face, she's shaking
body aching earth quaking
now waking

from the sweetest of dreams
blue, green, grey painted scenes
lazy lakes, rivers, and streams
wispy wilderness themes

by - Allyn S..
Summer 2006
(# 4)

Tom Thomson By Canoe Lake

The path to your grave runs steep
impeded by corpses
of felled pines,
their thorny roots
still grasping at life.

There are no signposts
mapping the way,
no evidence of the artist’s hand
that condensed Algonquin’s essence
into canvas and paint.

Still, people climb
to find the space where you
became the Park
atop a hill
by Canoe Lake.

Your corporal frame reclaimed
by family who needed
to draw you close
did nothing to erase
your footprint here.

You breathe, again,
each time an artist
plies these Highland lakes
to redefine our vision
of this place.

by - Melody Richardson
December 2008
(# 5)

Morning Mist

Tree tops glisten like diamonds.
Mist rises.
Warm sun peeks through the clouds.
Daylight slowly creeps up the valley.

Birds chirp their praises to the new day.
Squirrels chatter annoyance to new danger.
A stag, regal looking beneath a crown of shining antlers,
Retires alone to the long grass where he will bed down for the day.

Pungent odour of spruce gum, mixed with a sweet smell of pine,
Awaken my senses.
A tiny spider quenches his thirst from minute particles of moisture reflecting like
Diamonds that cling precariously to his web.
Sunlight’s reflection amplifies the beauty of intricate design.

Nature is now fully awake. Mist gradually disperses.
A majestic eagle soars searching the valley floor below for a meal.
Chickadees chatter as they flit from branch to branch, searching for their breakfast.
The staccato pounding of the woodpecker’s bill echoes through the valley.
Mist retreats like vanishing ghosts announcing a new day.

A beaver senses my presence.
I launch my canoe, startled by the sound of a thunderous warning.
I sense his displeasure of my presence.
Man and animals can live in harmony here. AlgonQuin Park.

by Bruce Liddle
December 2008
(# 6)


Cellophane hovers
Searching above misty swamps.
Mosquitoes beware.

by Graham Ducker
December 2008
(# 7)

Ode To The Water Strider

It is with deep appreciation,
I watch your narrow apparition
scamper about with disdain,
upon your aqueous domain.

Depressing concaves with your feet,
so hairy-curved to meet
the unseen surface tension,
where vibrations mention
dinner’s not too far.

An insect is what you are,
although what one sees
are four long spindly knees
whose spasmodic flicks
propel you and so tricks
the uninitiated.

Discerning eyes have learned
the other two are up-turned
under your needled chin
to grasp the meal and therein
you drain it juicy dry.

Perhaps you do not know
that for an ecological woe
you are a heaven sent
to act as a precedent,
for should you ever disappear
it’s a guarantee that we’re
not very far behind.

Pray man is not so blind
to allow greed to redesign
the land to build a mine
and threaten others of your kin
who have scales or thinner skin.

Frogs are already in short supply.
No one knows quite how or why
they’ve gone; but they are.

Scientists admit the answer’s far.
Perhaps they should look no wider
than the vivacious water strider.

by Graham Ducker
December 2008
(# 8)

The Evening Sentinel

As evening fell
the west shore reeds
stretched their reflection
toward me.

A loon’s thin wedge
split the mirrored river.

A laugh announced
the accomplishment.

by Graham Ducker
December 2008
(# 9)

A Red-Tailed Hawk

A red-tailed hawk
With wings displayed
Soars with elegance, marks its prey
A blasé glide and a calculated pause
Do nothing to reveal its cause
Then a blood-cold instant marks its face
It arrows down through time and space
Talons lay an agile waste
Yes, Death may come
With perfect grace.

By Kathy Purc
December 2008
(# 10)

Canoe Trip 2008

Driving through tall pines
dragonflies in and out
of dappled light

Small fires
flicker on a far shore
more stars

The silence
between waterfalls--a heron
high overhead

Old logging camp
lost in head high ferns
is the ferns

Raven answers
my call
(what did we say?)

Reflector oven
from a new angle
canoe trips long past

The children’s tent
glows in the dark
playing hearts

Small lake
a loon needs the whole circumference
to ascend

Sound of rapids fades
washboard roads
turn to highway

Back in the city--
a supermarket sparrow
searches for a way out

By John Scarlett
December 2008
(# 11)

Novonquin Haiku

Steel-gray clouds push down
Sleet rat-a-tats on the packs
Hot soup

By L.D. Love
January 2009
(# 12)

Algonquin Evening On Cache Lake

The sun is retreating
Early evening is still,
Westwind cottage is shaded
By the trees on the hill.

But, still a warm glow
Is cast by its rays
On Wabamini Island
Through the warm summer haze.

The majestic old cedars
And granite bedrock, seem
To rise out of the water
Bathed in golden green.

The shimmering avocado mirage
Flashes in our direction
Diamonds ride the wavelets
From the late sun's reflection.

From off in the distance
Comes the cry of the loon
So haunting, so piercing
Saluting the moon.

By R.J.A. Barr
August 23, 1997
(# 13)

Algonquin Morning On Cache Lake    

A shroud of swirling mist
Blankets Cache Lake
Which is as still
As the early morning is quiet.

Lazily, a seagull glides along
So slowly that it appears to be
Suspended on an artist's sketch
On a misty canvass.

The rising sun's first rays
Slant low across the lake
Giving a rosy start
To a summer day.

Soon the sun's warmth
Has burned away the mist
Leaving only a fluid surface
Which is dead-flat.

A hazy reflection slowly clears
As though a camera lens
Was being focused,
Until individual trees are duplicated.

The mirror image is broken
By busy water beetles
Searching for their breakfast
In a zig zag pattern.

A four-winged dragonfly
Creates concentric mini-waves
As it hovers, like a skinny
Transparent-winged butterfly in drag.

The sun's rays back light
A big fat spider
Who patiently waits
Suspended on a film of thread.

A blue jay answers a call
From deep within the bush
As a chipmunk chatters excitedly.
The morning has come alive.

By R.J.A. Barr
August 30, 1997
(# 14)

The Hunter

By R.J.A. Barr
August 12, 1997
(# 15)