Monday, October 26, 2009

over on the hill by the big pond

the first of the year
like another solstice after
the festival in its honor.

it's sixty today.
warm enough the smalltalk of weather
is noteworthy.
weather is a valuable commodity on a farm
like wallpaper in a victorian parlor
it produces flowers to smell
and wild grapes of rare vintage.

the pond is up.
the water is a good foot higher
and brown from being stirred
by recent rain.

the potential energy is captured
in winter's leafy banks,
the sole greens of cedars
and immigrant pinetrees.

at the low end of the pond
the mud dam separates
water from hollow.

there is a small stream.
the spillway for what
the pond collects from the lengths of surrounding hills.
it all goes to the same place.
becomes the source of a branch
that grows its way down this hollow,
gathers more hill-washings
to form a bonafide creek
that empties into a still-larger creek
that meets the Mississippi.

i ford the stream through a patch of briars.
crossing is a hop like jumping
the gutter on a streetcorner in the rain.

i follow the miniature ravine
a course cut that compensates
for the interruption when the pond was built.

the trickle is audible and increases.
water has excavated stones
and found a way to be louder.

i come to an eight foot waterfall
that washes and wiggles
a meandering path down.

like a fountain in a bank lobby
or a well-designed park or garden
the water pools up.
a small gathering before
the downhill expedition
to the eventual sea.

i find a flat stone in front of the waterfall
where the falling is loudest.
it disperses the noise
of faroff engines nad gunshots,
sounds everpresent as weather,
til the only sound is water.

exposed roots grow a thicker hide
to better support and protect
a tree that leans over the stream's eroded walkway.
the stones keep things from falling in on themselves
as this trickle turns its tones southward.
the stones are slick and precarious
for feet that arent liquid.

a full pond for the new year.
the wind adds texture
to the disturbed water
it has churned up fresh.

the cloudcover has solidified.
it might rain again.
the trees move quietly against the grey.
the bulk of winter is still to come.
extremes and exceptions in weather warrant discussion.
changes are self-evident.

i resolve to follow water
to paddle across a full pond
pull to shore for a punctuated portage
and easy walk uphill home

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