The Flow

The Flow

When I look at the stream
I see the river,
gulls nestling beside the bridge.
I think of the Canada geese
which have settled down amongst them, tentative as tourists,
migrants that have never ceased to be alien.
I reach down as it ripples;
the water I feel is warm,
as if it flows from a tap.

Even a simple path
between house and road,
down the steep irregular berme, to the brook,
is perplexed, discontinuous;
the unruly and ragged undergrowth
are potential trees,
stones are crags,
a garden mound
a mountain I climbed in Japan.

Can you truly see
when you are not seen?
When I am hidden from my contemporaries
I am a shadow,
and nothing I observe is substantial.

Better to let the universe
focus on you,
bathe you with its radiant particles.
Be at its mercy
and you will be more merciful.
Such satisfaction is instantaneous.

Everything flows.
Like ever-changing Proteus,
our lives’ accouterments undergo evolution.
The Mexican souvenir
coat of armor that leans
crookedly against a tree
in our back yard
is a nest
in which small birds
have made their home.

I hear the thwack
of balls
from the community tennis courts
beyond my house,
and they are the slow
staccato rhythm
that introduces Steve Reich’s Cave
before the music, flowering,
bursts like a brazen bomb
of fireworks on July the Fourth.

When will it end?
If I am not part of this,
it would be as though
I am in a parallel universe
whose equally valid equations
would not permit the thrill
of biological existence,
the almost impossible grandeur
of language,
the rise and fall and rise again
of everything.

The ordinary becomes
the exotic ordinary.

Ancient, isolated rocks
are ground to dissolution.
Water, fresh as a newborn,
trickles down between my fingers.