The Secret of Phantom Lake

(To the tune Identikit, by Radiohead)

Our country club was one tennis court
in the middle of a marsh,

and a large, rectangular pool

doubling a small, moon-shaped lake,
whose surface was always as black

as cannonballs stacked in the sun.

The girl was saved from drowning
in the deep end under the diving boards,

as I ran back and forth along the edge,

dripping dry, nothing to assuage
my guilt choking on action

even as it tried to swallow inaction.

Anger, that dispels all phantoms
and then creates more of its own.

To have a will as clear as water
without urine and chlorine.

Next morning, steam rose from the lake,

pieces of a ragdoll mankind,
that we can create, that we can create

as witnessed by reeds and cattails.


  1. I don’t know Radiohead from Eraserhead, but I do know this poem is absolutely excellent!

    “…cannonballs stacked in the sun” is about as genius as it gets and the entire tone, harried panic and controlled rage all in one brief but brilliant poem.

    More? Yes please!


  2. Quin Finnegan says

    Thanks Mr JOB … methinks you are very kind.

    I got on the site for the first time in … way too long … and was happy to see that at least one of us is keeping the dream alive.

    Gratias tibi!

  3. Louise Orrock says

    My name appears a lot at the right but I am simply very occasionally writing comments on a blog I was sent a link to several years ago. I thought it was from someone in the US because I’d just been there, but it might have been, now you’re back here …

  4. Louise Orrock says

    Of course it wasn’t necessarily the contributors who sent me the link.

Speak Your Mind