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,
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. (:>