Saturday, November 14, 2015


From Otto Wilhelm Thomé,
"Flora von Deutschland, Österreich
und der Schweiz.
" 1885, Gera,
Germany, via Biblio.

The log in the middle of the creek
doesn’t seem firmly seated; neither
am I, leaning out over loose rolling
gravel for a better idea of how to
cross. There’s the balance point: a
place where the shadow beneath
the broken trunk underlines the
soggy bark, scribes the creek-bed.
No gap, but it’s off-center enough
to need me to be light-footed, a
barefoot dancer on what’d pivot
and throw me. I don’t trust my
body, don’t trust that I can be
single-minded enough to commit
with sufficient speed and grace.
I waver then wind moves the cane
nearby, telling me how it could
be done: first, cut a stalk almost
twice my height, tie my shoes to it.
Then take off my socks, put them
in my shoes, step up and, balance
pole low and in hand, let bare feet
read the bark while I keep my gaze
moving from horizon to log and
back. My shadow is an elongated
asterisk on the water below as I
find my footing, one step after an
unsteady other, until I look down
and see I’ve finally crossed.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Your poem was a nice antidote to watching a Democratic debate on CBS -- that debate probably cost me five bucks in bandwidth, one of my few expenses out here in the Arizona desert. Thanks for the images!