IN PRAISE OF SMALL WATER

by fishingpoet on October 24, 2012 · 14 comments

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There is a constant truth in these waters.
Their direction and existence
an age-old story told
whether one or many or none listens.
It’s a story of quiet witness and powerful protest.
A record of the messy but perfect balance
of sustenance and survival.

In big water we are lost. Humbled
and reminded of our frailties. Our
fleeting existence. Our will
difficult to impose, though we still try.
But in small water we see ourselves.
And therein lies the truth.
We find ourselves where we find these

rivers and streams. Nestled
in the canyon belly or mountainside draw,
spilling from pool to bouldered pool.
Shadowed, cold and framed
by banks of heavy-green rhododendron
or tangled alder. Meandering in wide arcs
through the prairie’s yawning miles. Arteries

running with defiant purpose,
reflecting the noise and hard angles of the city.
We pack light when we go. Leave
contingencies in the garage, barn or basement.
Leave our will and need to impose.
Leave the things we carry
that we hide from others.

Live closer to the bone. Maybe
it’s because we know what works. Maybe
it’s because we understand
just how much will be forgiven
and everything beyond that is
unnecessary weight. Here we know
we’ll be given just enough.


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