Modest Assertions of a Paddling Ideologue (MAPI)

Dance with the Wilderness

Memories of still water
Speak to your restless soul
Calling you and your silent craft
To the rippled reflection of the shore.

Rushing water spills over a ledge
Scan for the V to point the way
Eddy out and watch the swirl
Now ride the wild wave.

Go and Dance
Your partner waits.

© Charles Burchill

Stoping a canoe



Who will speak for us now?
Pierre and his canoe have left us.
Bill and his Pal are gone.
Politics threatens our union.
Tell me when will it end.

We believed at Stockholm
We believed in Rio.
Now Voices from Kyoto fall.
Where does it end.

When do we start?

© Charles Burchill

Jack Pine on the Shore



Personal was the choice I made.
The wind was calm,
the waves were small.
The distance was not much at all.

Freedom was what I wanted then.
The way was short,
just across the bay.
No one knew I went that way.

Death called to me.
The shore was dim,
I could not swim.

© Charles Burchill

PFD in the water


The Spirit

The spirit has moved within me
and draws me back each year.
It calls to me each spring,
and every fall it draws a tear.

Every stroke's a blessing
each spring and summer day.
Moving forward with my life
in such a wondrous way.

How I love the tranquil sound
of water rushing by.
The quiet laughter on the hull
lifts my spirit high.

To paddle with you is a joy;
across the lake each fall.
Of all the things I keep inside
this I tell to all.

Once the spirit finds you
your life will be complete.
The love of paddle and canoe
will keep your soul replete.

© Charles Burchill

One Handed, edged, brace


Calm Waters

Crystal clear and smooth as glass.
Dawn has come at last.
The water calls and beckons me
In whispers from beyond the shore.

I launch my boat across the lake.
Small ripples from the bow
Cause mirrored trees to dance and curl.
As if they wave goodbye to me.

Only here and in my dreams
Exists the peace I seek.

© Charles Burchill

Still Water



I sit by the window and think
of all the things I did those days.
With a blanket wrapped around my legs,
all I can do is sit and gaze.

A paddle hangs above the door.
My prospector calls me out to play.
Clear skies and moving water beckon.
I can not anwser and have to stay.

I watch my life in memories.
All those near me I push away.
They only remind me of who I was.
I see enough of that each day.

I close my eyes and feel the wind,
quiet waters run beneath each wave.
Dreams of rapids flow through my mind,
Only to wake still a slave.

Do you want to know why I am this way?
It was a fools run, and poorly planned.
No vest or helm to protect my life.
I did not know or understand.

Here I sit by the window and pray.
Learn the lesson I learned that day.

© Charles Burchill




My paddle hangs, a lost soul on the wall.
A PFD sits sadly sagging in a corner,
a bored child with nothing to do.
The canoe patiently waits all covered in snow,
hibernating until the warmth of spring returns.
I am impatient and the winter is long.

In my minds eye I can only see fragments now,
images of things I felt and saw.
A lonely day with storm clouds approaching
Ripples across a quiet spring lake
A sense of peace and and wonder
The crackle and pop of evening fires
Companionship on the river, lake and trail
A brake in a long portage
A moose and calf stare and chew
Sunsets always spring to mind
and, of course, sitting and watching it rise.
Strong winds, friends appearing like magic to help
Ice along the shore
Otters huff and puff, as if to say 'the lake is mine'
Mud and muskeg, muskeg and mud, portages that never end
Hot summer days, a cool dip in the lake
Music fills the air
Beaver dams, I didn't know there were so many
A thousand strokes blend into one.

Looking back means looking forward.
A new season is still to come.
With lengthening days the snow will melt.
At first only small drips will fall,
those flowing into trickles.
Rivulets form into streams and streams into rivers.
Lakes will fill and spring will turn to summer.

I will make peace with the winter
for she fills the lakes and rivers.
Seasons change, life is renewed.
I love to paddle, but I can wait.

© Charles Burchill




Down to the waters edge
I will carry my canoe
for one last paddle
then the season
can end

© Charles Burchill



Last updated: November 10, 2014.

Some Definitions (Random House Webster's College Dictionary):

1: an impractical idealist 2: an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology
1: a positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason. 2: an act of asserting

Other Canoe Stuff I do

Further information about my life as a programmer and biologist: