September 1, 2011

newfoundland1 edited-1-1

Newfoundland; “The Rock”

Word picture by Joy Snihur Wyatt Laking

Vast rolling hills of gray granite;
Pitted and etched.
A million years of standing
Naked and tall.
Now slightly worn by ferns and flies,
Wind and water.

In some of the hollows,
Puzzle-shaped ponds mirror
The cerulean sky.
Along their edges,
Ragged blankets of olive, ochre and sienna
Keep a tenacious toe hold.
Pitcher plants, orchids, asters
Are laced with vines of
Cranberry, bake apple, marsh berry.
Only the rock that is shear and vertical,
Wind-swept or ocean-washed,
Resists comfort and remains barren.

In the coves and valleys,
Where the rock meets the Atlantic,
Clusters of brightly painted houses
Sit solidly.
They nestle together cheek by jowl.
Triangular windbreaks on doors,
Small salt-sprayed windows,
And ample chimneys
Foretell the weather.

The clotheslines flap with laundry or cod flakes.
Winding paths with rickety handrails,
And curving roads over and around rock,
Connect the houses down to the fish sheds.
The wharfs, cantilevered out over the ocean,
Are balanced precariously on thin posts.
Along side,
Skiffs and fishing boats rock and reflect.