THOUSANDS OF WATERLILIES ON THE FALL RIVER
Thousands of waterlilies on the Fall River
Many petals open.
One flower blooms.
Going through her phases
like the eyelids of a faithful lover
waiting at her windowpane
as the sun goes down beyond the hills in vain.
Loosestrife golden rod Queen Ann’s Lace
there are flowers all over the place
constellations of New England asters and blue chicory
glowing all the way down to the bank
as if the spirit of water
had poured itself out in the night
and rooted the light in the earth
like a place to belong for awhile.
Venus low in the west
and the Swan and the Eagle and the Lyre
heading south already along the Road of Ghosts
that everyone walks alone.
The sky is urgent with stars.
A crow casts its shadow on the moon.
My blood is enraptured
by the stealth of a secret lover
hunting along the river’s edge
with an appetite for life on the nightshift.
The water moves on.
I sit with the rocks along the shore
very quiet and still
and listen to the same stories I’ve heard before
about rushing precipitously into things
like a universe.
Creation takes place on the blind-side
in the flash of a cosmic thought
But you’ll lose your eyes
if you stare too long at that.
Better to look at it star by star
flower by flower
face by face
life by life
as if there were only so much time
and then there was forever.
The only place to look for cosmic origins
is in the details.
You can see the motherlode
in every nugget of gold
you pan from the mindstream
like a mountain of thought
from three and a half pounds of brain.
The stars know about mining.
The past is just the future history of shining.
If you don’t give off enough light and heat
you can’t give birth to the elements
that give shape to what you are.
Your light doesn’t reach out
to see that far.
You’re just space
that can’t get it together.
Ask the abyss what it is
and it will point to a star
like a luminous expression
of what it’s going through to find out.
and it will say it used to know
but it forgot what it was all about
as soon as the first waterlilies came out.