V. The Spring
While at our feet the river twists
unravelling fibres, swift the surface
broken and pocked with age. Reflection
shattered in its rush through mountains
to the sea. On spits of sand is waiting,
the waiting for the oar splash, the groan
of the man coming in the boat and waiting.
Take the coin with the dolphin on its back!
Take this my horse! The crossing must be
made. It is one stream and along
its banks the prints are forced,
its meadow flats glow with blood.
Kiss! kiss the rock and touch the wound!
Up beyond the lake where the fisher
throws his nets and waits for mere words.
Sing! sing! caress and dance!
The paths twine and lead to shores
dark and burning where gathered we
have waited too. Wait the hero, wait
the maid to rise with flashing sword
from hibernation. Then share the living
in attendance upon the manna of memories
turning as brown leaves turn in the waters.
The jet is clouded iron-red, not blood,
but there is a truth here too.
Catch the spindle as it turns
and blooded in the blurring torpor
of its speed to the point where
thrum and threads are lost in the spinning.
Sisyphus knows as strolling down
the slope there is time for thought.
The pavilions of silk are pitched;
the best have come to watch the last;
and it is over, scattered, errant.
One glimpse of the cup or stone, no
matter veiled, and the centre shudders,
shifts, gives way. The best of them
pierced the forest no matter where,
the paths diverge, splinter, are lost.
Ixion tied upon a wheel waits while
the wind cutting at his mouth drives
his cries and breath back within
his throat too dry to utter pain.
Unravelled, the twine falls about
the face, the marbled eye looks
out and do not see the furling mist
around the walls beyond the river
and the flats. Woven flowers shoot
against the blades and fling scents
to eddy to windows open, filled
with faces following the flux of light
coiling upon the mist. The fisher
returns, guardian of pain. Perhaps
tonight the words, the touch and freedom
to fall from deep-drawn breath, AND
wine-black waters clear. Somewhere this:
the river crossed and all drawn in
as with the sucking in of air
to the bevelling spike here in
its slow turn behind our gaze.