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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ode to the Creek


Love Poems come in many forms: mine is to the creek running in my back yard. For more love poems check out This is Not a Love Poem III--Blue Valentines here

Ode to the Creek

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To the burnished waters
snaking facets
of silver minnows
in my back yard.
Meek cousin
to the royal
ocean,
humble tendril.
You toss
your
white
stones
onto the shore
like bread
for
the poor,
pearls
I string
into a path.

O creek!
you cannot
hide
what the full
moon pulls:
alms of stars
from your
secret
breast
of ferns,
willows
and the two
wood-
ducks
braiding
purple fountain
grass
into a bower
for their chicks.

You sometimes feign
stillness,
like a sleeping
Buddha.
One
eye opens
to the peck
of walnuts,
to the pelt
of their concentric
circles
on your surface,
like patterns
on a taffeta
skirt,
each layer
you hike
up reveals
roots
from the sycamore
two doors
down.
A red twig
dogwood
cozies up
to the redwood
shadow,
which umbrellas
the wild willows.
Why does it always
come back
to the sorrow
of willows?

You sometimes rage
when the neap
tide fattens
the ocean’s
head,
and crowds
you back
into
the mountain’s
elbow.
You fight
and froth
the storm,
hurl
small trees,
broken bottles,
and cedar shingles,
down
the ocean’s
mad gob.
You swell the
heart
of the shoreline
into two
ever
widening
banks,
threaten me
with a divide
too wide
to cross.
Make me think
I may never
traverse
this foaming
torrent
again.

O creek,
the morning sun’s
fringe
tickles
you
into a tinkling
tranquility.
The wood ducks
honk,
and the shore
makes a bridge
of a fallen tree.
Your grand symphony
now a penny whistle
of rapids receding.
You blush
and offer
a perfectly round
stone,
a wedge of polished
glass,
and a broken
tea cup,
on the riffle of
the currents’ edge.
I take these
tokens
and place each
on an altar
of mud,
sand,
and twigs,
in an
attempt
to appease
a sometimes
fragile
peace.

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