Gothic stone towers,
guardians of law and peace,
Symbols of a young nation,
Memories of my home town.
Canada’s seat of government is in Ottawa where the parliament buildings are an iconic sight. Two distinctive features are the Peace Tower, with carillon bells that chime the hours, and the round dome of the Parliamentary Library. The Ottawa River flowing below was once a major timber trade route.
I recently wrote about my memories of the Rideau Canal. Then, when Ronovan’s weekly haiku prompt included the word ‘river’, my mind went to the main river of my life: the Ottawa River. My first 18 years were in Ottawa, minutes away from the river. I remember digging up clay from its banks, cycling beside it, and many visits to an old boat club house. My father was drawn to water, having served in the merchant navy. So he enjoyed boating and took his family out for many rides. There the romance dwindles. In those days there was an active paper mill. Log rafts and loose logs bobbed in the water—and a strong unpleasant industrial smell prevailed.
This week I attempted a tanka instead of a haiku for Ronovan’s Challenge #112. The prompt words are ‘river’ and ‘stone’. Syllable counts for a tanka are: 5-7-5-7-7.
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