Susquehanna, When Homeward Bound.

My First Poem



A first night’s welcoming fanfare, fireworks and music under the stars, aboard Brian’s pontoon.

Moon light, camp fires and intuition to take us home after the brightness of rockets in the warm night air.

Wind chimes both steel and wood echo, on the evening breeze and along the deserted river bank where cabins sit empty. 

Party music seeps across from the far shore, heavy metal, singing and shouting, drink and who knows what else, into the early hours.

Earlier, a shooting star across the bow, so close and bright, it’s a bird on fire he said, we laughed and won’t forget,

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.


 A fresh white, newly hung hammock sways just barely, with my fella asleep in it, a book on his chest.

Leaves spiral to the ground, some float away on the river, or litter the chairs and table.

Grass hoppers, or are they locusts, high in the trees above, rasp and rattle in the growing heat.

A Grey Catbird hops beneath the hammock foraging I guess, whilst the Grackle noisily dodges through the undergrowth.

Two Jet Ski’s pass by zigzagging, with laughing riders, a cute guy clings on,

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.


 On the still, far bank, about mid afternoon, motionless trees, look like a painting by Gainsborough or Constable perhaps,

And thunder from the bbq, like a dragons bellowing cough or great fart, was, just too much gas!

David snores gently as he sways and rocks in the hammock after a beer or two.

The spin of a reel, fishing from jetty, and the tuts and sighs as the bait hits the water.

No spud gun this year, or lightening to spoil the day on the river, just sun and fun,

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.


 Is it a creek, river, or estuary? So big like the Thames in London or the Bann at home.

Conor fishing patiently and quietly casts again, with anticipation of another fish, unlike those at home, and maybe a big one this time.

Fallen trees from last years flood or the storm just past lie broken on the banks.

A Great blue heron rises and glides beyond our sight, as we strain to see Turkey Vultures, but hope for more… maybe an eagle or osprey.

Marble Island, a mystery solved and a story laughingly, lovingly retold, a safe place for young and old,

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.


 A chilled haze covers the hills and water, like something from a horror film, the fog perhaps, it closes in.

Fireflies display near and on the shore, like some weird alien presence, with messages only they can read.

An inferno at the camp fire, a tale is told and then relived, grown men run, shout and laugh like the kids they are at heart.

Gentleman Bob reminds us of young minds present, when the conversation gets risky, with a subtle joke.

David’s laughter where ever, when ever, always, enough to bring a smile to any face and lift the soul,

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.


 Misty hills and small Islands mid river look enchanted in the evening dusk.

Moon dappled water laps against the boat drifting close to the bank, whilst the quiet man and boy fish.

Herons cry out to each other, in warning? Who knows, overhead night time traffic passes, geese and ducks, they talk, and we listen.

A small Salmon moon crests the hills and rises against the darkening inky sky,

My fella reads in the fading light as the boat drifts and turns,

Conor and Brian fish, changing baits, few words, a meeting of minds?

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.


 The fish jump, not big perhaps but they announce their presence again and again…and again

Swarming may-fly just hatched, charge like an express train in their thousands, like a speedway across the boat, Conor ducks and laughs.

Last night in the light of the setting sun, one, ten, scores of tiny bats swooped and spiralled behind us, above the boat’s wake.

And the trails of three parallel jet planes looked like distant, incoming meteors.

Kayaking, the sweet feeling as you glide and watch, feel the river, and the fishing, are done for another year,

And clove tobacco smoke drifts, sweetness in the mouth and in the air.



© Vincent Creelan 2006



























2 thoughts on “Susquehanna, When Homeward Bound.

  1. I remember your process of composing this that summer, and was glad for the deep sense of peace that vacation seemed to give to your soul. Thank you for leaving the trail of bread crumbs for me to find it. so many beautiful, precious memories.

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