Boys shatter the mirror
of a placid lake.

Their shouts and laughter roll
like thunder down the mountainside.

They take turns listening
to glacier lake chilled heart beats.

An ear pressed to a chest
bends no boundaries at their age.

They beach themselves
upon the pebbly shoreline.

The sun revives their skin
from an icy shade of blue.

Off to their right
the mountain’s saddle tapers away.

The stream runs toward city lights
with the season’s snow melt.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


A couple times in my life, when young, I was in the Rocky Mountains and went swimming in extremely cold mountain lakes. I was with other boys more out of serendipity than plan. After hiking many miles to the lakes a swim to cool off seemed natural. With the fearlessness born of youth, we jumped in.

Only on of the lakes was glacier fed. The others had snow fall nearby almost all year.

In my teens, I learned from a national park ranger that people can survive in these types of lakes ten to fifteen minutes before the cold kills them. At the time it seemed odd or misinformed because I knew we had swam in those lakes for twenty to thirty minutes. In the end I decided my memory of time was affected by the chill waters.

Love & Light. Live a good poem.


No Daring Leap Of Faith

A foot extends
as the opposite knee bends,
so a toe may test
the lake water.

Chill circles and withdrawal.

Rock back on her heals.
Arms surround knees.
Reflections tinged with green.

Sun stiffs the coldness of purchase
on the dock’s wooden boards.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney