This poem was composed in my Creative Writing I class. The objective was to write a poem about a place and incorporate all five senses within the poem. I especially enjoyed writing this poem as the lake was one of my favorite places growing up. Not only is it a beautiful environment, but it is also a place full of memories spent with family. This poem holds a special place in my heart as my grandfather also enjoyed spending time fishing and hosting family gatherings with my grandmother at their home on the lake. When my grandfather passed in October 2012, this poem was displayed at his funeral, as I remember him telling me he had tears in his eyes when the poem was read to him.
Navigating a fog of dust
Leaves a light powder on the surface
Of the timeworn Taurus chugging
Down the snakelike path.
Hues of blue and green peep in and out
Between the chalky smoke of gravel.
Questions of “Are we there yet?”
until the moment of anticipation arrives.
Seatbelts spring back and chaos explodes
in the struggle for freedom
from humidity and close confinement.
The invigorating, cool breeze greets
bare skin, causing one to shudder.
Exposure to rays of sun light render
One momentarily blind, like a freed captive.
Sight is restored and the battle has begun
for who will reach the front door first.
Shouts, screams, and delighted squeals
ring throughout the atmosphere
as the door squeaks open in welcome.
Grandma’s inviting embrace, the prize.
Her face, always flushed,
Revealed a smile of a sweetness most sincere.
Next in line, grandpa awaits
with hidden anticipation
that deceives no one.
His face bronzed from sun’s rays
Creates an appearance of harshness
But eyes glimmer with joy
and pride, revealing a heart of tenderness.
The chill of the cooled interior
sends four pairs of bare feet scrambling
toward the rear entrance
of that little red house with white trim.
The explosion of sunlight
invades the frigid atmosphere
tempting those who seek its haven of warmth.
Once one is drawn into this setting,
no desire for escape.
Stepping off the back deck
And onto prickly grass
reveals a hill, high and steep
leading any small child to believe
it is truly a mountain.
The hill tumbles until it collides
with a shore of rocks
dampened by the murky
waters that crash against their surface.
The whooshing of waves eases the mind
Of any previous distresses.
Leaves of cottonwood trees answer the whispers
Of the breeze that swiftly wafts
Over them. The orchestra of sounds
performs its piece of the waves
rushing in harmony with
gusts of wind.
Turquoise waters sparkle and gleam in sunlight
presenting an appealing sight
to those willing to take the plunge
into its murky depths.
Carefully tiptoeing down the steps
cautious not to slip down the “mountain”
to the crashing waves of the deep.
Suddenly anticipation turns to fear
As the edge comes into view.
Closer, closer now “doom”
awaits the one who takes
the first leap. The heart jumps
as sprinkles of icy death splash
upon the flesh. Recoiling in fear,
one dips mere toes into the
dark abyss of the unknown.
One, mighty and daring, bounds
toward his fate and plummets
with a massive splash into the lake’s waters.
Now inspired, the rest follow,
discovering that fate is now glee.
Background sounds resume
as motor of boats roar to life
and shrieks of joy echo throughout the land.
Anticipation of nearby boats
to deliver larger waves
splattering the faces that bob above.
The sky is painted
with colors of orange, pink, and purple,
indicative of a day well spent.
Rising out of the depths
Brings immediate shivers
As water droplets rain down
Upon the dock. It’s a mad dash
To the warmth and comfort of towels.
After twinkling stars and the crescent moon
have replaced the brilliance of sunshine,
The time has come to return
To the once intolerable vehicle
But now it’s a sanctuary posing
as a place for slumber and dreams.
Resume the clouds of dust
As drowsy eyes close on another day.
*In loving memory of Grandpa Duane Carlson, who spent many years welcoming family at Clear Lake.