Usually, when I start a magnetic poem, I let a thought come out of the words as I scan through them. This time, before started I decided I wanted to include river ice, so I used the online Nature Poetry Kit. I stumbled right away and decided the available words, even with the usual magnetic editing, wouldn’t be enough to get me to where my mind was going. So, I just went back to writing, and the result was this prose poem.
Contemplating Ice on a River That Should Not Freeze
Anger takes us nowhere. Talk to me. Do not choke the flow of words, like ice on a river stealing light from the waves. The Niagara is a river that sees little ice, even in the coldest of times. Its few islands are not impediments, instead channeling, giving it direction, the mighty falls no precipice, but a way to gather its strength with rapids that are a celebration rather than a sign of fury. Throughout its journey, its dialogue is one of reason, serenity punctuated with a passion that does not hamper its course. The waves we meet should not impede us, but instead be the life in our journey.
When I was done, I decided to try magnetic poetry again, and this was the result:
Like ice on a river
stealing light from the waves,
words of anger
bring the chill of darkness,
leading us nowhere.
During the winter months, an ice boom is stretched across the Niagara River at Lake Erie to prevent damage to docks from ice flow along the shore, as well as to prevent blockage of the water intakes for the hydro-power plant near Niagara Falls. The boom is removed when ice coverage of the lake is minimal, usually in early April, when there will be a steady flow of ice for about a week. The photo above (source: artvoice.com) is an aerial view of the boom preventing ice flow from Lake Erie into the Niagara River. The images below were taken 30 Jan 2008, after a break in the boom resulted in the river being choked with ice for several days. (click image for new tab/full screen)