Julie A. Dickson, September on Lake Ontario

new york richard mcguirk licensed

September on Lake Ontario
by Julie A. Dickson

Ontario is calm today, sun warm,
waves lap at rocks in quiet rhythm.
I hear the call of a lone goose,
Canadian black markings clear
as it swims lazily — far away from the chattering flock,
as if to say, “I need a few minutes.”
Perhaps he is like me.

I sit on a rough-hewn boulder
that edges the grassy outcropping
where the old public pier once stood.
Looking east to the row of cottages,
the dormered windows like open eyes
trained on a blue expanse. All eyes on the
great lake, watching — past the calm surface.

I remember days when white-capped
thunderous waves crashed against the break walls,
toppling boats, eroding the shore,
but not today.
Today Ontario is calm.

Previously published in The Avocet: Journal of Nature Poetry (2014).

PHOTO: Vacation homes on the shore of Lake Ontario, near Rochester, New York. Photo by Richard McGuirk, used by permission.

New York Debra Millet licensed


NOTE:  Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is surrounded on the north, west, and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south and east by the U.S. state of New York, whose water boundaries meet in the middle of the lake. The Canadian cities of Toronto, Kingston, and Hamilton are located on the lake’s northern and western shorelines, while the American city of Rochester is located on the south shore. In the Huron language, the name Ontarí’io means “great lake.” The last in the Great Lakes chain, Lake Ontario serves as the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River, comprising the eastern end of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It is the only Great Lake not to border the state of Michigan.

PHOTO: Sailboat and lighthouse on Lake Ontario, Oswego, New York. Photo by Debra Millet, used by permission.

MAP: The Great Lakes, with Lake Ontario indicated in darker blue.

Julie Ontario

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  A favorite location of mine was on the Western shores of Lake Ontario in New York State. The photo above shows the cottage of my poems behind me (light green), where I spent many summers growing up, swimming and canoeing in view of the Great Lake.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie A. Dickson is a lakes girl, raised on the shores of Ontario, now living on the New Hampshire Seacoast. Her poetry depicts early times on the water, nature, environment, elephants in sanctuaries, and teen issues. Dickson’s work can be found in journals, including Poetry Quarterly, The Avocet, Ekphrastic Review, and Silver Birch Press. Her full-length works are available on Amazon, and she received a Pushcart nomination for her poem “The Sky Must Remember” in 2018. A board member of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, she shares her home with two rescued feral cats, Cam and Claire.

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