Monday, March 11, 2019

HEAVEN LAKE ( 24 ) ~

My Doctor

Is Chinese—

Left China with his wife and young

Daughter while leaving a son behind

Arrived in America and worked as a janitor

Now resides on a second floor of a building across

From the town hospital with its plush parking lot

My doctor practices his calligraphy between patients

Naps on the same mattress his patients use

After a two year absence I came for a visit

I met a hooded worker brushing fallen

Snow from a walkway with precise strokes

Peering into the hood I surprised my

Doctor who nodded with a smile

Patting my chest and taking up his broom

He followed me inside


Owl calling out

Of nowhere at dusk

Was as good as spoken


I’m telling you — 

While you all think

You may know me

My cat’s been

Studying me

For all I’m


From a



Ah, if my axe could talk

It would be something!

It’s been everywhere with me

For over 45 years at a life in the woods

But get serious, it’s an axe, it’s

Sharp and quiet, and some

Might say

That’s what I should be

Find Me

Today we hiked in the forest where both the 

geese of the lake and the train can be heard

the geese are just past the trees

the train is faraway but its whistle is close

we stop on our path when the whistle comes to us

we look at one another, say little, we have been on many trains

where we go today is where all winter was a tundra of ice

she remembers sitting down to slide many times on an incline

I remember we forgot our walking sticks so we made a pair

the forest has everything

geese, train whistles, ice, and then no ice at all

it is spring and we go to search and find

one small puddle of ice

withdrawn into the

shade of the forest


Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018