A Ballad

New Family born May 7, 2014 with thanks to Tim Warris

New Family born May 7, 2014 with thanks to Tim Warris

It was a day in early spring
My young son came to me
His face was creased with a little frown
Of confused perplexity!
“Why did they call it Silver Lake?”

Taken aback, I listened long
and wondered what to say
He raised his voice
Had I not heard? And so he tried again
“Why do they call it Silver Lake
WHY do they call it SILVER LAKE
It looks like muck to me!”


I took a breath and calmly said
“Well that was long ago
but as a boy with inquiring mind
you have a right to know!”


This boy believes in Santa Claus
And the Easter Bunny too
I’ll spin a tale that will delight
Chuck full of pirates in the night,
smugglers, monsters, wild beasts
And perhaps a dragon or two!

“Well now, Wee Matey, here we go
We’re a fishing village for sure
And back in 1854 the air and water was pure.
A Scotsman built a dam of logs across the river way
Trapping water to power his mill and to 
simmer his fiery whiskay!

S0, that’s how the lake was made!

Harmony on Silver Lake

Harmony on Silver Lake

The water was a silvery colour
And home to fish and frogs
But in the middle, floating on top
was a giant silver log.
At night the log seemed to come alive
Two eyes lit by the moon above
Revealing a giant writhing snake
A line of mercury on the lake
Slipping and sliding in shadowy light .
We called him “Merk”
and left him to lurk
On Silver Lake at night!

“Wow!” exclaimed my little man
His eyes a twinkling bright
“But tell me more – did pirates come and did they have a fight?”
“Well yes they did! How could you know?”
And then the story flowed
the rest of the tale
in the dark foggy gloom
When pirates fought smugglers
Beneath Silver Lake moon.
And Indians rescued soldiers
in giant war canoes
And bags of sterling silver
And chests of silver doubloons
buried on Goosy Island
Close to the silver lagoon.

The little boy was satisfied
At least for a year or two
And when he raised the question next
I knew only the truth would do!
“Mom. Why do they really call it Silver Lake?
Does Merk still live in the muck?
Did anyone find pirate treasure?
“Mom. Why do they really call it Silver Lake?
What happened to make this disaster?
What can we do to fix it?
Why does it smell like an outhouse?
Why are the turtles covered in slime?
What can we do to fix it?
Why do we call it Silver Lake?”

9222_10151305093176882_335473323_n“Well son, surely you remember that day
The workmen drove into to town
With trucks and heavy equipment?
And they rumbled down
to the bridge
And their crane hit an overhead line?
They were protecting us from disaster
and checking for signs of weakness
In the dam that served us so faithfully
For a hundred and thirty some years.
The dam was declared to be sound
Without needing much to be done
That is where the story ends
As they drove off in the western sun!”


Forsaken but not forgotten
Silver Lake is now the memory
in our hearts
Here it shimmers and glows in the moonlight
While its stench tears us apart!
We await those who will lead in our County
Those with vision and courage and heart
Those who look us direct in the eye
Those who are able to honestly say
There’s a lesson we learned from our forefathers
Where there’s the will,
We can find the way!

Anon 2014

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

Serenity View

Serenity View



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