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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.