25 May 2016

Family Picnics

 A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning 
By Thomas Cole, (@1844) The Hudson River School of Painters

My favorites were at North Lake, up where
the bowlers roamed on stormy days—hidden
in Catskill Mountain forests, cliffs and lakes.

There was an order: First the dangerous drive,
slow curves around sheer cliffs and water falls
that raised anticipation and hunger.

Second unpack the car not too far from
the beach and third plunge in the water cold
till called to eat, towel-wrapped, shivering.

Forth: Cole slaw, hot dogs, buns, Yahoos and chips
mustard and relish, seconds and thirds, and change
to hike and pass the hour before swimming.

Fifth, up in single file quiet, native
style, not harming plant nor ant, step back
from sheer drop edges, surprise sounds and moves. 

The pinnacle reached, ceases to enchant
so Sixth, race down faster than the adult
caution to be careful, faster than  light.

Seventh, fall asleep and miss canoe rides
and second swim, the clean-up and packing.
Re-a-wake, hot, at the ice cream stop.

Vanilla cone in hand, watch out the back
as distant hills recede, family day
already fantasy in red sunset. 

Posted for my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Picnic

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright.
© 2016 Susan L. Chast


Jae Rose said...

Seven steps to heaven - each one sounds respected, treasured and real :)

Sumana Roy said...

all's well that ends on sweet notes :) picnic days are the best specially for those who can participate...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Now that is a family picnic to treasure always. How beautiful. You took me there.

Anonymous said...

Oh so much fun..!!!! Such beautiful memories Susan!

thotpurge said...

So much fun! Such beautiful memories Susan!

Purba chakraborty said...

Sounds so delightful and beautiful. Loved all the steps :)

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is absolutely gorgeous writing Susan :D and oh how I adore the "red sunset" at the end.

Lots of love,

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

A vanilla cone would be the perfect ending to a day of picnicking!

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I forget how athletic we were as children and the energy we had! As adults it's much less animated but still thoroughly enjoyable. You brought back many memories for me with this.

Matthew Henningsen said...

One detail that I really liked was how the view from the top no longer enchanted. A nice moment, with some true undertones to it.

Old Egg said...

What a beautiful warm feeling (perhaps not in the water) of a family outing. Those memories of childhood cling with us for years and sustain us when we are sad. How easily it was picture this and recall my own memories of so long ago.

Unknown said...

Those are golden moments arent they Susan? Those hills are steep and the water quite chilly but what child cares?
Thanks for sharing your world with us.

Luk Lei said...

I love this, Susan! It speaks almost exactly the summer days my family, with aunts, uncles, and cousins would visit our grandparents lake cottage. Though, I may have swapped that vanilla cone for a chocolate/vanilla twist with sprinkles.

Truedessa said...

This sounds like a marvelous time! You have really taken the reader with you.

purplepeninportland.com said...

This is a wonderful picnic memory. Didn't hurt that it ended with ice cream!

Panchali said...

Love this, Susan. Enjoyed this beautiful mountain picnic with picturesque description of the scenes around! Lovely, as always!

Uma said...

Vividly described... i was right there along with you

rallentanda said...

Ice cream and hotdogs...sounds great !