Literary Hook: Celebrating the symbolic meaning of a mountain lake

Christine Swanberg

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

I love lakes of any sort! Summer is a time when many people “go to the lake.” Wisconsin lakes are charming and refreshing. Mountain lakes are awe-inspiring. Here is a poem celebrating the symbolic meaning of a mountain lake.

At Lake Crescent, Washington

Suppose you find yourself in some in-between space,

where no doors are clearly marked:

Enter here, you who would move forward.

Suppose even the currents of your body lost their way,

and strange manifestations disturbed the waters of your blood,

disrupted the electric currents of your heart,

beating faster than a tom-tom in a wild warrior dance.

The chaos of your pulse and loadstones of fatigue

confuse you in contrapuntal castigations.

Then you might seek a lonely, ravaged place

where two mountains meet at Lake Crescent,

a narrow passageway between them.

Let yourself be ferried on shimmering glacial water

through a narrow portal no matter where it leads.

Know that when you pass through in-between

you finally find serene.

First published in The Alleluia Tree.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.

From the Aug. 14-20, 2013, issue

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