(after Friedensreich Hundertwasser)
From where I stand
the river is a symbol
and the landscape less itself
than our idea of itself.
We walk through unaware
of the compromise.
We don’t speak the river’s tongue.
Mythic bottled panorama.
It was built for more than bridges.
Crocodiles and river gods
call it home.
Squalls and lotus eaters
call it sister.
Bathers call it hither and yon
and here we stand as skeptics
We forget the times we drowned,
as a duchess and a soldier
as a guest of the water.
We would pave the river over
if we could.
We would wear it as a boat wears
its prowess upon the hook.
And it would lure us in to its center
spilling into our yards and overflowing
its every bank with water and dreams of water.
The vision has not invited us in
to its discussion .
The vision is busy being itself.
Water snake water rat
washing shirts and bodies
and still the river is moving out from its center
merchants and minor deities guns and divers.
No match for the rising tide.