At water's edge, I'm drawn again ten years after its first impression
upon my heart and in my dreams...before so many heart hurtful confessions.
I've watched the same red ball sun set over the waves pushed by the wind.
Here I am, at water's edge, staring at this empty life of mine again...

My past, it sits behind me...constructed for the entertainment for all around.
My past, it sings behind colliding and notes falling to the ground.
My future, what future - shall I find myself ten years from this very day?
Staring across the water...this still water that I gazed over yesterday.

God has lead me to this water - the trees slowly dance around the shore.
All good and bad paths I've etaken, I shall take again, sometime, I'm sure.
Here, at the water's edge, I wonder what life lies just below
the water's edge, the lapping waves...the unknown, we see to know.

I watch the sun set and watch the stars glide over the water.
In this small, waning moment, I discover that nothing really matters.
I'll find my way again, yes sir, to fight this fight that we call life.
At water's edge, Dear Lord, time splits as though caressed by a knife.

I see my past, I see my present and my future...well, I do implore
to reveal some hint of life within the water caressed shore
as though some great crystal ball with celestial granted powers.
What will the next day bring?  What lies in the next few hours?

I turn away from the water's ege to stare at those large beasts
standing on the grass nearby...flocked together as though in feast.
Their cold bodies never warmed by the burning summer sun.
Lights all around to chase the darkness when each day is done.

So, I walk back into my past...just feet from this lake's quiet shore.
Back into a world of its own...a world where some people just want more.
To a counter, I slowly walked...watching others who walk the same.
I pick up a dart and twirl it in my hand..."Step right up, play this game."

The carnival's set up by the water...ten years since my first traveling breath.
How humbling to think of all the lives once here...marveling at life's depth.
Ten years talking to this crowd...that teenager who gives me such grief
was being pushed by mom or dad that first summer I felt the water's relief.

Life moves on at the water's edge...we wonder how we'll ever pull through.
We test the water and wonder its worth...we rethink each thing we say and do.
Somewhere, at water's edge, a teenage girl looks at this very same sun
wondering who'll be walking in her path, when next, her life is ten years done.

©July 3, 2007, Lori Maynard "The Carnival Poet"
Written in: Cedar Lake, IN during the Cedar Lake Summerfest

Of all the towns that I sat up in with the carnival, Cedar Lake holds the largest place in my heart and memories.  Nestled in a city park in Northwestern Indiana in Lake County and on the shores of its namesake lake, Cedar Lake seemed like a completely different world from other small towns.  I have many fond memories of Northwestern Indiana from Thayre to Shelby to Lowell and Cedar Lake. 

My first year, I remember cooking steaks on a cheap little grill beside my car one chilly July night.  I was so happy to have actual meat...A little too excited because only after cooking them, did I realize that I had no, just picked up the steaks and chewed on them.  The lack of forks and knives was not going to stop us.  In 1997, the guy I was dating at the time and myself walked from Thayre to Shelby to hang out at his friends' house for the night.  It was such a long and winding road through the darkest darkness I had ever seen and the journey took us from Newton to Lake County across the Kankakee River.  The road has since been straightened a little from what it was, and the old iron bridges have been replaced with modern, shapeless forms.   I had watched the fireworks over the rippling and dark waters and browsed through the Sunday morning carshows.  I fished in the waters, sat on the dock and watched the crowd swarm past me.  I've walked through small towns nestled  in cornfields and gravel roads…but, Cedar Lake is my favorite spot above all others.  Cedar Lake of today is far different than it was in 1997.  So many more buildings have popped up along the water's edge and the businesses that I did know, have closed. 

There is a bike shop in Cedar Lake that was featured in one of the Discovery Channel's "Biker Build Off" series.  Shooter's Scooters. 

I had spent many nights in Lowell, IN the fall and winter of 1997 in Lake County and it feels like a second home to me.   ...we can never return home...that's what they say... So, I carry a part of it always in my heart.  Do not judge me because I had worked with a carnival.  Do not hate me because you think the word "carny."  I am an average woman with a large and poetic heart.  Friends and family mean the most to me.  Hard work is very important to me and honest is key if you wish to be a part of my life.