Wednesday 10 January 2024

Two Poems by Victor Kennedy


Canoe Lake, 1988


It’s hard to turn around

when you’re on a portage in the forest

surrounded by trees

with a canoe on your shoulders

and a knapsack on your back


But a black bear coming down the trail toward you

is a good motivator

so you manage somehow


It’s hard to run

through the forest

with a canoe on your shoulders

and a knapsack on your back


But a black bear behind you

that you can’t see for the canoe

is a good motivator


We got to the shore

threw the canoe in the water

the knapsacks in the canoe

and were about to push off

when I said “Where’s the camera?

I need to get a picture”


The photo of the bear didn’t turn out

(black bear in the shadow of the trees)

but I got a good one of you

scrambling into the canoe


I Have Heard the Wild Wolves Sing


Night falls

on a canoe trip through Lake Superior Provincial Park



we pitch our tent on an island in the middle of the lake


The fire makes a circle of light

our shadows fall on the rocks outside the ring


We stare into the glowing embers

as we eat our rehydrated something dinner


Drowsy, we lie in our sleeping bags

holding hands as we drift off to sleep


Awakened in the pitch dark

by wolves howling in the distance


Isn’t it strange that I’m not afraid?

I feel that we belong here


I have heard the wild wolves sing

I think they are singing to us



Victor Kennedy was born in Scotland, grew up in Canada, and currently lives in Slovenia. A semi-retired Professor of English Literature, he spends his time writing poetry, walking his dog, and trying to play classical guitar.


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