The Boon of Memory

I suppressed a shiver, as I watched the wild geese take wing

I prayed to the river, to send me a song I could sing...

blue in the face, of autumn ablaze...

struck by the sadness of the shortened days...

brought to my knees, by the majesty manifest to me.

 

I often go walking, seeking some solace, serenading myself with my songs;

wonder, devotion; poetry and emotion weave patterns that carry me on...

how I long to believe, in these autumn days;

when just like the leaves, I get blown away...

rolling and tumbling, stumbling and fumbling for rhyme...

 

I was raised on this river; I've lived on both banks;

I often return here, to stroll and give thanks

I walked these paths with my father, and as father to my son...

how I long to lay here, when my race is run...

won't you scatter my ashes, where the current passes the bridge...

 

I stood stock still and I shivered; as I watched the wild geese at  wing...

I gave thanks to my river, for the gift of this song I can sing...

and for the 'boon of memory'; though at times it brings pain;

what would we do without it; to replay again and again

nursing our history, keeping our lost loves alive...

 

I was raised on this river; I've lived on both banks;

I'll often return here, to stroll and give thanks...

I walked these paths with my father; and as father to my son;

how I long for to join them, when my race is run;

won't you scatter my ashes, where the current passes the bridge?

...scatter my ashes...

 

...'the boon of memory', indeed... at times a mixed blessing, but priceless nonetheless. I wrote this song somewhere in between the next two bits of poetry (?)... the two major blocks of my life spent on either side of the Otonabee river at the London Street footbridge and hydroelectric dam (pictured on the cover shot of the first cd recording (photo credit Wayne Eardley, Brookside Studio). As a young man on the east side, as a grown man on the west. I no longer live within easy reach of my river and bridge, and often meet folks who say they miss hearing me play guitar as I would walk the spaniels. One day, I met a young man walking a Husky cross we were familiar with, and said: "Hello, Cortez" (to the dog), and "But you're not Dave..." to the young man, who was indeed not Dave, Cortez' regular companion (and a Neil Young fan)... he responded with: "You must be Old Man River..."... well... (and I was some years younger than I am now).

 

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