To the Camp

17 Aug

This sonnet was written after I returned from our first visit to Bob’s Lake in Ontario this summer.  We’ve only seen bears twice, but apparently they only have one bear hunt a year now.

To the Camp


Darkness has fallen; the car follows the calcium chloride

Road in and out of the rock-infested farmland

That we can barely see–just enough to know its granite face

And twisted trees and long grass that seek to pull us into

Another time and world and space.

A black bear scuttles across the road,

Rising on hind legs midway to protest our intrusion,

Then lowering and swinging his shaggy butt into the wood.

Once inside the farmer’s gate, we trip the light fantastic

Over familiar dirt and rutted roads and then

Head over the bridge across the bass bed to the gate,

Where once a blue owl stared at me.

Beyond the gate, the branches that seek to lash us to the ground

Are ours, as is the morning phoebe in its cottage nest.


*trip the light fantastic–The phrase has a long genesis. The most recent is in “The Sidewalks of New York” by

Charles B. Lawlor and James W. Blake) in 1894.

However, it also comes to us from Shakespeare and Milton.

2 Responses to “To the Camp”

  1. claireaperez September 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I read this poem & remembered it…the shaggy butt. Great description, and of course, trip the light fantastic.

  2. Kathryn Mapes September 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m thinking of sending at least a couple of the sonnets out to different journals.

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