Goose Lake, the book

Hi everyone,

I’m reading through a book of mine published in 2011, the only one I’ve ever published on Amazon. It’s called GOOSE LAKE, A Year in the Life of a Lake and was the result of many years of living near the lake and observing its moods and cycles. The book was illustrated just right by SLADJANA VASIC. If you want a copy, it’ll cost you a buck ninety-nine for a Kindle Edition.

Each spread has a prose element followed by a poem. This poem is called “Fog on the Water.”

Fog on the Water

This morning Goose Lake holds a cloud on her lap white and thick as a down comforter. Pity a Mallard lost on the water surrounded by Canadians -- a tug boat bobbing blindly among freighters. In an hour the fog will vanish. Like a magic trick its mist will freeze on trees, flashing diamonds on every bony finger, but now Goose Lake is a mystery lady covering her secrets in a white wrap.

Yard lights on the far bank
wink like fireflies probing the fog
for safe passage.

My hackberry trees
raise leafless arms,
prisoners surrendering
to an invisible foe.

Somewhere a duck without a body.
quacks to itself a lone note
that stirs no interest.

Mornings like this,
Goose Lake avoids company.
Her pulse slows.
Little moves or mutters.

The latest news

Hi everyone,

Our snow is gone now but two mornings ago we had enough to cover the ground. I glanced at the headlines when I went out to get the paper.

It reminded me of this poem, written after a similar morning experience years ago when I was at work on GOOSE LAKE.

Morning snow lies
zippered with clues
for mystery readers.

Did night spirits
nod mall-walker greetings --
		“Evening, Opossum,”
		“Evening, Skunk,” -- 
or conceal slyer agendas? 

What creature crouched
outside my door,
savoring hints of lasagna scraps
and chocolate?

Here, Big-Tracks lunges after
Small-Tracks, their encounter
scuffling the snow. Here,
Big-Tracks drags its trophy,
smoothing a path rabbit wide.

Hooves like Valentines cut in half
examine my pool,
unsafely tempted by day.

Nimble paws gain my planter,
leap down, turn the corner;
birdless feathers
tent like pick-up-sticks
beneath my feeder.

I read quickly.
Today’s wind soon sweeps
old stories out of print.

From my e-book from nine years ago: GOOSE LAKE

Hi everyone,

A very dear friend of mine, Deanna Smith Schuler, has asked if I might record some poems from GOOSE LAKE, A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A LAKE, which I published as an e-book in 2011. Editors who read the manuscript liked it but said it was too specific so wouldn’t have a national appeal. I believed in the work so I ventured for my one and only time so far into the world of electronic books. I’ll make the video as requested, hopefully this week, but thinking about the collection again made me want to share some of it with you today. I’ve done this before but it has been quite a while.

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong wrote the foreword for GOOSE LAKE. Sladjana Vasic’s illustrations captured beautifully my sense of mystery and intense interest in everything about the lake.

You can buy it for $1.99 on Amazon or B&N. Here’s the cover. Here’s the introduction. To those of you are familiar with my love affair with the lake behind our house that I dubbed “Goose Lake” many years ago (it has no official name that I know of), this will come as no surprise.

The lake behind our house entertains me. In, around, and above the water a cast of swimmers, flyers, hoppers, chirpers, croakers, honkers, quackers, and hissers comes and goes, lives or dies, eats or is eaten, each a valuable member of the lake’s community.

According to season, rising suns paint mornings fresh as spring. Fish leap for insects. Turtles lie out on rocks like summer tourists sunning at the beach.

Fall rains strip leaves from trees and storms howl across the water. Ice covers the lake. Snow covers the ice.

Then it’s spring again and ducks wander the banks, searching for secret places to hide their eggs.

If only you could be here to share my binoculars when I look out my kitchen window or lounge beside the water at dusk. There are so many sights I would love to show you! Since you cannot join me in person, I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll bring Goose Lake to you.

And here is how the book begins.
When we moved here in 1989, we were not welcome. As I stooped in the driveway for my first morning paper, a delegation of geese hissing like punctured tires flat-footed it toward me across the grass. This was not a social call. My new house squatting on their land beside their lake was an outrage.

Indignant to their pinfeathers the geese closed ranks and delivered their ultimatum in a furious chorus:

Bills hard as chisels,
tails aquiver,
necks recoiling like missile launchers
firing off fierce glares —
the posse bristles pigeon-toed
to enforce goose law:

will be hissed
they learn their lesson.

Text copyright © 2011 by David L. Harrison
Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Sladjana Vasic
All rights reserved.

Can’t go wrong for two bucks. (:>