Staring into a Summer Day

appletonbike_3Another timeless, hazy day lakeside

so much of so very little on my mind.

The opposite shore is a curtain of beech and pines,

their tips jut out against a pale blue canvass.

There is no pattern; yet with every scan of the tree-line

there’s a comfort in seeing how earth meets heavenly skies.

I’m lulled by sounds of a continuous lapping against a rocky edge,

a soft melody passed on through the ages. Slaps of water, time and time again…

carrying all things to this place; and, from this place…

I gaze, then peer deep into the water beside the dock,

only catching mosaic reflections of cloud and green darkness.

Dancing ripples advance across the surface of the water;

it’s the single chaotic motion on this still day.

and my attempts to follow one proves pointless – as each ripple will rise to fall,

and, then, seemingly rise again.

IMG_2866A sighting:  a solitary loon stretches out its wings

then folds them neatly back in before it tucks and dives –

a sideways descent into eternity.

Just how long might I hold my breath

so I may be graced with this day forever?


Chris George

July 2012


(ed. – This poem first appeared in By George Journal in July 2012.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

I am looking for a simple answer


It’s my mission: I am looking for a simple answer to

enjoying the very essence of life and the ones I love;

to not be burdened with a day’s tiresome trivialities,

those meaningless details and happenings that

cause troubled sighs and sleepless nights.

May I, in taking one deep breath,

let loose those weights that drag me down.


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Here’s hoping I can put the adage to the test!

I want a simpler way, filled with peace of mind –

a place where I can freely exchange laughter,

pursue my passions and pause to reflect;

a simple approach to living day to day

permitting me to accept life’s complexity.


Chris George

July 2016


Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.



Hurray for Bike Month


June is bike month in our Almonte community. Argumentatively it is the best month of the year with all its family activities and events for bicycle enthusiasts. Take a look at Mississippi Mills Bicycle Month website and MMBM Facebook page for all the news and excitement.


Followers of By George will know our love of biking. In honour of the start of this special month, we feature two poems and five of our favourite photos of biking on the roads of Lanark County.


To bike these days

A Ride at Dawn


Appleton at dawn


Almonte storm clouds


Me and my shadow at dawn


One of our favourite dirt road views from a hillcrest on Old Perth Road


Another sunrise on the backroads…



Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

My sentence

Each nightly vision swirls about my head, as I sleepwalk through my days,

mumbling through greetings and conversations, looking for some spark to ignite

and energize, to slap me awake from this weariness that seems to bewilder me so.


Yet, I’m hopeless to express in so many words my quest for an original idea

and the strength to get it on paper. A few striking words, strung together:

one sentence to tell all. I need to begin with one sentence

to capture and slay those visions and deliver me from this inertia.


That’s the challenge, as big as a mountain before me, the challenge

I don’t want to talk about. I’d rather write and leave the talking to others.

I’d rather scratch out another poem and explore those crevices of my mind,

stretch and contort my thinking to, in someway, free me from my sentence. 


— Chris George


(A few years back I wrote 10 poems that are compiled under the title: Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was.  This poem first appeared in that compilation and later also found its way into Midstep: a dozen poems towards where I want to be. If you are interested in receiving either or both of these compilations, connect with me – – and provide your e-mail.)


The Arena: a Lens onto Life

I lost and found my son this weekend on the ice

He was there, and then…. he skated into a corner away from sight

I imagined him in the middle of a scrum of bodies and sticks – eyes locked on the puck

Somehow he looks bigger as he wheels around the net, glances past the crease and backhands a pass to his waiting teammate

It is his ease of movement that makes me search for the answers I don’t really want to reflect on – just, how did he grow up so fast? And what’s next?

I blink. He’s gone… then I focus to see that he has gathered in the puck from his opponent’s blade and has nudged it forward;

He spins off his back leg and begins a deliberate, looping stride towards the side boards, flicks the puck against the boards and accelerates over the blue line

It seems he carries the puck in slow motion,

Yet I realize that this game is really in fast-forward

He’s skating too fast, as there’s no stopping his advance

So, I need to ask these questions:

In five years – will he get the shot off – and find his mark?

In ten years, which arena might I find this young man?

I study his moves. I need to burn it all into my memory.

With a burst of energy he cuts around a player, and with shoulder down, stickhandles neatly beyond two defenders and swings in towards the goal – mere seconds of ice time capturing years of development

A whistle, some yelling from the bench and pounding music from the arena’s PA system

He circles around to line up for the faceoff – what’s next?

University courses; wedding receptions; a first day at a new job?

He sets for the drop of the puck – and I’m processing a whirl of freeze-frames:

tugging his sweater on overtop of his shoulder and elbow pads

tightening his laces and clicking the snaps of his helmet

my parting locker room words of endearment: “Skate hard every shift. Have fun.”

then after, his tired, satisfied smile; that smell of sweat from soaked mats of hair

and the car rides to and from the arena; and those questions that start with


Peering through the glass, I’m witness to this game, yet unable to be part of it

I watch his boyhood in flashes now – with our family turning on his every blade stroke

He’s reaching forward, stick extended, body twisted – anticipating a pass

And I’m anxious with hopes and aspirations for his future happiness…

In another instant, he’s stride for stride, leaning in against another body, locked in a match of force and determination

Yet, I remember vividly those precious moments when I held him in my hands, and ran around the house carrying him piggyback

There’s another whistle, he twirls on one skate, right in front of me, and skates away towards the bench – it’s him, yes, I see it is, but only after focusing on our name on the back of the jersey.

There are times I see my own breath rise in the cold of the arena, and our reality is caught up in a few seconds of blurred colours, sticks, a puck – and my son

He’s turning and digs in to push off, the puck dances on his stick in front of him, and he darts ahead to open ice, sure of himself and where he must skate

On the ice, he’s always enjoying the moment, yet I see that he’s stretching, honing skills

He circles, glides with one leg lifted in front of him, lifts his head towards me and grins

I stare upward; the game clock is going too fast for us at this rink. I don’t want to avert my eyes – there is only so much time to etch these glimpses of our lives.


— Chris George