The River Of Swans~Poem # 23

That milk white mothersome light, O curious teacher, engraver of changes/ Moon tide or “watersong”, an eternity of our soft forgiving eschews the mire, as what becomes real enables the rest-a surge of Winter stars crest our broken light and the living continue.It’s easy to think of you Neruda, at just twenty, discovering your solitude beneath a yellow canopy of that dark continent.What wet, jade shadow jungle surely witnessed this soul’s first perfection?/ In an instant flow of connection or in the loving turn of a newer poem, one vision clad measure which breathed salvation; as fireflies dazzled golden grasses, rain softly fell/ and into silences before words, two white doves split the damp air with their songs.

Winter 1996

Revised 9/23/2005


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Ne Pas Nager, Plus De Natation.


I was never swimming for life-saving.

I never wished to rape the mill pond with my freestyle.

I never hankered after skinny dipping

or ghosting into tepid tides to pillage ocean currents.

I’m no yacht, no sleek racer with waxed hull

and cool-hand Coxswain. I have no life-boats.

I don’t splash, I clatter.

I’m holed. I’m drowning for a bail-out.

The water braises me – it softens me up.

In my colourful costume, I’m rainbow sous-vide.

I leave my flavour in the tea room at the local lido

for aid and refreshment after shivery morning lengths.

I’ve no desire to burgle jewellery

sparkling upon the necks of summer rivers,

as they alarm the healing country-side

still in slow relief from the spring floods.

I’d rather not invade those rough shallows

with my twinkle-toes, soft padding

to the car with spectre footsteps

to recover my reticent rolled-up towel.

How many dawns must be wrecked

by the cursing of adolescent

lake invaders, ruining survival

for a quick glimpse of mystic flesh?

Left this time, I’m done – scuttled.

Resigned to sink slowly to burning depths.

I expected the life-buoy, the Baywatch, the rescuers,

But when I really needed them, they let me drown.

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Rain gently falls

Splashing against the street

As if painted with a gloss

The street reflects everything

The scent of asphalt, dirt and trees

Takes over my sense of smell

I breathe in deeply 

All is calm

As rain gently falls

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The box of Cabernet is empty

The box of Cabernet is empty

I stare at the box with has forsaken me

How could you run dry?

I’ve treated you so well

I saved you from the grocery store prison

Yet your vital liquid vanishes


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