Friday, March 21, 2008

Water Rights

Just south in the drought

the river is a sluggish trickle.

You have sucked the water table

to a bitter stain and now your acres grow barren.

Press your lips against damp rock,

licking at a memory of abundance.

There will be no relief for your parched tongue

while your mouth is mumbling

mantras from a foreign climate,

your feet stumbling a rain dance

meant for a different sky.


You can wait with cupped hands

but when it comes, water will spill between your fingers

and wash away the last of your estate like ashes.

In the dry that follows,

you will still be thirsty.


Or,

you can set off to find a fresh spring.

Travel light for a long journey.

Try camping by a small circle of green in the desert

and this time

learn from the land.


Just north in the Wet

rain falls like gravel for weeks.

Roads wash out and trap you on high ground,

drains choke, paper curls,

your clothes grow mold between wash and wear,

your skin prunes to an alien organ, overwhelmed by

too much water for the cleared land where

it pools, then erodes in its rush to the sea.


But the forest soaks it up, lush and glorious,

singing in the mud relentlessly

reaching back towards you generously

growing over the edges you’ve tried to define

and reclaiming territory meant for monsoon.

No mistake.



1 comment:

Lee Kottner said...

This is a really lovely and poignant poem with some beautiful lines in it. Thanks for sharing it with us.