Words about Rivers

I write about rivers again,
As if they were about love.
The raft, for instance, I saw,
Glued-together by summer of
Tamarack reflections.
Winter is here
To suffocate,
Smoothly disfigure into
A perfect smooth bruise.
So, love buries loss,
Before it creates it.
Every word is a second language.
Rivers are clear
About this: they are ghosts.
They leave, they come,
They are never here.
Only bodies swim.
Only a body holds a promised land.
Only bodies drown.

In the Morning, the Birds

In the morning, the sun lands
in the dark old places
while the river lives in the ground.
Why do I see like this?
Stars disguise in the black masks of ravens,
behind them all’s foretold.
The marsh is wild with thistles and wrens.
The blue jay is revealed,
leaping from the camouflaging sky.
A cardinal lives in my chest,
deeply, far away.

October 24

Northerly wind, rain from the south.
Rain on the window’s a negative of leaves that remain,
and those that give in to brief flight, a reminder: so
much of you is stripped from your bones.
Streams on the glass flow from the river once scented through the trees,
their nakedness that now leaves you cold.
Why are they cathedrals that do not ring?
Why does it rain in the desert?

One in the Morning

I read one poet, then think of another,
And then from her, another.
You say you dislike poems
about poetry. I do, as well, but tell me,
how many poems about poetry
can you show me are about poetry?
Think about every author of the Old Testament,
stone mazes of words, their numinous millennias,
yet forbidden to annunciate or to spell out,
for the faithless eyes,
the full name of their beloved.
Now, think about the plague of crickets
outside the window, and I, turning from
the moth-glow of the computer on the table,
enter the unlit yard to listen as they
line up their utterances on the strands of reeds,
fanned out along the creases of the river,
so that I may hear your name mentioned
by darkness.

– 18/5/17 Ancaster, ON, Canada

Other Things

What I would like to forget is the snow.
The way it does.
The manner in which it rides
On the black earth imitating backs of fish
Chumming in shallow haze.
I trample over the frozen words
Of the young deer on the road and
The brain’s slippery scrawl,
The coming of Summer, the light
Loose in the fields
For the love of other things
Which smoulder from
Shadows behind other trees.

Fallen Tree

It must be strange for you,
the wind climbing down to meet
the earth.
Like we who are lost,
you walked above in circles
and we followed every footfall, mossy
tree curling in your leaves,
greenly whispering, see me
as I disappear.