Today I dream of summer. The sun on my face. The relaxed rhythm of the day. When I was a young teen I remember drifting on the Magnetewan River in a canoe reading for hours. I wrote this poem (inspired by Wallace Stevens) to capture the carefree feeling and the peaceful knowing of having nowhere to be but in a canoe with a great book on a gorgeous summer’s day.
My parents live close to where the Parry Sound 33 Fire started this summer.
moss clings to my
spaces toured by ants and even
Motionless days pass
solid and sound in all seasons,
even this one, until my senses blistered.
Organized signals for help
unseen as my sedentary
service in subterranean
bass tones even
eluded that fir and birch and spruce and pine
who once stood beside me night and day.
Knowing boots rested on my back, even as I slept
as choked branches lay across my face, as I ate
soaked dreams drank my lineage
hardening the horizon–
Even until smouldering spells
struck nine and I waited to exhale.
© Jessica Outram
There are much more interesting photos out there of the fire. It is a sad news story that I can’t stop following this summer. Each time we went out in the boat, we could see smoke rising up out of the bush. It’s heartbreaking to imagine the landscape I love so much in flames.
We spent the day boating around the south shore, south of Gereaux Island in Whitefish Channel. I took over 200 photos. The landscape was absolutely stunning–a perfect summer’s day.