Friday, October 30, 2020

Channahon Ride


AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/18/2000 11:23:16 PM
9/25/2020 6:42:27 PM

Channahon Ride

Awaken, oh, on a Sunday morn, yawn, stretch, peek out at the newly risen sun.
Stumble down the stairs to my own kitchen cafe, open the white blinds.
Look through the slats at the ripples on the pond, turn around.
Look out the blinds at the patio, making coffee and stretch, flowers in their pot.
Green grass, deeper than emerald. The wading white heron turns and looks me in the eye.

Natural grace, pure beauty.

Sitting on the couch, sipping, my Sweetheart and I, sitting in robes and greeting a new day.
Planning how to take our Sacred Sunday, where to go, what tiny piece of the world to know.
Fathers' day dinner, eaten as lunch, we speak, architecture, history, interests shared.
Gifts are given, a enjoyably nice affair, dumpling soup, roast duck, happy days.

Bridges between generations still stand.

Back home, changing into jeans, loading pedal power in the car within the hour.
It's time, for the Channahon Ride. I'm truly awaiting, happy inside.
Off we go, through our little town, pretty lawns, flowers all around, community pride.
Hit the highway, twenty minutes in store, passes in a flash, my love and I talking a bit more.

Channahon bound, as the world speeds round.

Sunshine abounding, four wheels pounding, prairie grass along the road, prairie flowers grow.
Pull into the trail head at Channahon, smell of the water, rushing water over the dam.
People canoeing, little kids in floats, fishermen watching, trees in their full summer coats.
Put the bikes together, shadows and sun, peering fingers of light through the green tree leaves.

Red, pink and white prairie flower blooms, sitting in the sunshine.

Hop on the bikes, hit the trail, see the lock-house, old lock number eight, still standing.
Ride across the bridge out in the sun, couples everywhere, sharing our kind of fun.
Ride down the trail past wading cows, green old farms, pretty as pictures, across the canal.
See a three foot gray heron wading at the far edge of the canal, takes, flies across the causeway.

Twenty feet from our faces, the gray heron glides.

Shadows and sunlight dance on the trail, breezes through tree leaves prevail.
The sounds of birds singing in my ears, rhythms of sunlight dancing on the canal to my right.
The sounds of the river on my left, lapping waves, roaring bass of the motor boats.
The old I & M seems timeless, history for sure, but the serenity we share is something more.

Priceless, love and togetherness, home with nature.

Across the trail, another heron, wading in the shadows. Still life watching us ride by.
At the far edge of the river, the white heron wades, watching, and the tan doe shares his pool.
Twenty feet apart, the deer and the bird, beautiful, I'm breathless, watching with my love.
Through the trees as we ride, we spy these little magic moments of glory.

Six hawks are circling, landing in a dead white birch, across the river.

We ride a little further, down the trail, red squirrel runs, up the old oak tree.
I'm riding in front, then behind, but the ride is best, right by her side.
Chipmunk, he peeks and runs, little tyke come to join the fun. He lives every day on the trail.
A woodchuck swims the canal, leaves a wake, but he's enjoying summer, no mistake.

Two butterflies fluttering together at the rivers edge.

At the far end, of the Channahon Ride, we stop, there at the tiny point, sit on the bench.
Softly we speak, of life and us. The butterflies are dancing in the air and sunlight, shadows.
Standing on the mound we see the snake. All must share the sun here.
The pontoon boat slowly crawls down the river, a ruby red speedboat flies by.
Greeting others, brief "Hi", "Hello", passing on the ride. Returning, the green of the marsh.

Cattails grow there, you know?

Returning, the marshes, the trees, the tiniest yellow, white or purple and blue flowers,
Peeking through the greenery of every type. We greet the staring heron, dressed in gray,
And see his gray brother, a few feet further, just down the way. Retracing the Channahon Ride.
Back the way we came, trying to beat the setting sun, again the white heron, and wading doe.

Peaceful, timeless, living the Channahon Ride.

Stop at the dam, a man with pictures to take, white heron standing on a branch, watching.
People fishing, young and old, a couple on a double bike, sun of gold.
As we pass along across the bridge, a few moments more, stolen from time.
The little houses, a dreamy wistful pretty yard, front door opens to the trail.

Peaceful settings abound.

Rushing water through the sluice gates, shimmering, frothing white, wooden railings.
They line the path down the timeless line, ancient concrete and rusting steel,
The dimensions here have historical appeal, and the prairie flowers scent is sweet,
Mixed scent of river, as it forever runs, sun rain or snow, a never-ending race.

A free enjoyment, nature found.

Stopping tired, on the way home, strawberry sundae, vanilla cone.
Sunshine fading, just beat the sun. We arrive, and the bikes return home into the garage.
Outside now, one very long last look, at the pretty sunset, from a picture book.
Robins' egg blue, to fine to be true, wistful clouds, golden lined orange and white fleece,
Fading to red, purple, indigo, the further east your eye should go.

Pink shades on the pond through the blinds.

The white heron, and his brother gray, wading the pond while I look the other way.
And as I turn, they catch my eye, into the dying sun, the twain gracefully fly.
This is our day, my love and I. A special day, frozen in time with words.
And now, through talents given by our Lord, I give you all, the Channahon Ride.

And fade with the evening sun, flying away with the heron.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 06/18/2000

Author's Comments

This was how Lady Saren and I spent our day. Every piece is fact. Sometimes reality can be more beautiful than the grandest fictions. Dreams are necessary, but reality we live in. I pray that we ride the Channahon Ride many more times in this life. It heals our souls. And for those who wonder, the pronunciation is like "Shan-a-han". Beautiful? In my eyes!

AuthorDate Entered/ModifiedViews
Daniel A. Stafford6/18/2000 11:23:16 PM
9/25/2020 6:42:27 PM
Daniel A.

Total Comments: 2


Daniel A. Staffordaqmstaffo@mailbag.com6/21/2000 9:25:51 PM
I missed a point. This was Fathers' Day 2000.

Janine Danielspinnys@hotmail.comhttp://www.spinnys.com6/22/2000 9:09:15 PM
Hi Dan, thanks for inviting me to read your poetry.

I started reading from the top of course, so I didn't see your comment that this was all fact until I finished reading it, yet all the way through I kept thinking, this is so real ... I feel like I'm seeing it like a movie in my head as I read. I felt like I was  experiencing it as if I was there. Your descriptions of everything were so graphic that I could see the Heron and smell the flowers, catch the flash of the colored butterfly and hear the waters lapping on the bank. I could feel the breeze blowing through my hair and best of all I felt like you were letting me in on a very private and secret moment which you were only telling  me...:o)

I was living the emotions as you felt them. 

I loved how you tied it all together with the Heron... which seems so insignificant yet I wonder if the Heron isn't the link which made it all the more real to the reader... I mean, so innocent yet so... "right there" and demanding not to be over-looked.

I love this poem. I hope I haven't written too much but I've never done this before so I don't know the right way to do it. I've just written  to you what I felt. I hope that's all right?

Bye for now, Janine.