Tuesday, 8 July 2014

like a freshwater lake in the desert

it was so hot:
all attempts to wring
some lightness-of-heart
out of the lifeless, still day 
had mostly been abandoned –

as if, the hours were stuck,
by the blasting heat, 
to the middle of an asphalt road.

I had taken a break,
from after-lunch camping chores, 
to sit down on the edge of our
wooden picnic table bench

and kicking off my flip-flops
and wiggling my toes –

I was soon joined,  
in that diversion,
by a little boy
of about two or three,

hotly pursued
by a red faced older fellow:
the child’s grandfather,
as it turned out – 
the lad:  “a runner”, he explained.

the boy laughed,
as we continued 
wiggling our toes together.

grandpa laughed,
and I laughed, too.

“little ones” – he chuckled, 
with the acuity of an ancient sage:
“are like a freshwater lake . . . in the desert”.

notes:  The prompt this week for Poetry Jam is “Impossible Place”.

Pictured is Osoyoos Lake.  Osoyoos, British Columbia is located in the only desert in Canada with the lowest rainfall, the highest temperatures, and the warmest fresh water lake in the country.  The town is located on the lakeshore of Osoyoos Lake – as is the town of Oroville, Washington, on the US side.  Captured in these photographs of Osoyoos Lake are the desert hills of the region.  The bottom photograph shows a vineyard and the orchard trees prevalent in the area, pinned between the Lake and the desert.
photos:  Osoyoos Lake, British Columbia – M.T. Bourke

© 2014 Wendy Bourke


  1. Its really an unusual place, miracle of god, a lake in the desert!!!

  2. Wow this really does sound like an impossible place--a lake in the desert. Lovely scene with the little boy. thanks for posting

  3. Very refreshing poem, Wendy! I love the grandfather's comparison and agree. Lovely photos!

  4. yes they are that refreshing...ha....i love kids...they def keep my young...and hey if caught in the desert, a lake would be a great find....smiles.

  5. What a beautiful setting, Wendy. Makes me want to visit Osooyoos Lake. What a fun story about the little boy. It sounds like the grandpa and the 'runner' had a great relationship.

  6. it's really an impossible place Wendy...amazing..and the little boy and grandpa remind me of my grandparents who used to say that interest (grandchildren) is always sweeter than principal (children)... :)

  7. This made me smile, Wendy. Your simile at the end was delightful!

  8. Wendy what a cute little poem.... I miss my grapa.... :(

  9. I love this! Made me think of my little "runner" grandson of almost 3. They truly are like a freshwater lake in the middle of the desert! Nice take on the prompt.

  10. I love that freshwater lake in the desert phrase........and I thought that was the Okanagan...land of my birth.........(Kelowna) In those days orchards were everywhere and Kelowna was a small town, not the urban yuppie townhouse and traffic place it is now. Sigh.

  11. Wonderful! I love that phrase too, and thank you for the education, what a beautiful place! :-)

  12. I love the ending and grandad's words, reminds me of my holidays long ago. This is very special.

  13. Oh I want to jump in that lake. What a delightful story, delightfully told. Your poems always make me smile.

  14. a lake in dessert is a delightful find..very nice wendy ..loved it :)

  15. This is an utterly delightful write Wendy...I love it!

  16. A lake in a desert! This sounds like an impossible place indeed. Very nice poem, Wendy! I especially like the last stanza.

  17. Enjoyed this sketch-of-life poem! And I'll have to remember this phrase: a freshwater lake in the desert.