Lying awake


Lying awake, staring into darkness.

The smell of tent canvas, smoke and canned potatoes

crosses my mind.


Hiss of a Coleman lantern. Then quiet.


Rocky shoreline, ragged cliffs and deep woods:

gentle lap and twig snap.

Autumn sweep of Northern Lights.


Two tired boys and their dad

tucked into an eiderdown sleeping bag.

Nolan Lake, somewhere in the 60’s.



2 thoughts on “Lying awake

  1. Thanks Siobhaun. I can’t believe it’s over a month since I wrote anything… but at the same time I could see it coming.

    This is one of those poems inspired by a smell memory (which it sounds like you’re familiar with!). In truth, I think my dad actually built a lean-to from bows and branches on this fishing trip, or we slept under the stars, a memory which I’ve meshed with Atikokan trips. Nolan Lake is a good trek in behind Ouimet Canyon. It would have been almost too far for an eight (or so) year old to walk with a light pack… an adventure for sure, camped between cliff and crystal clear trout lake.

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