Rivers run wide
           lifeblood of all beings

rivers run wide
           through towns and cities
                             through farmland
                                            and deserts

Rivers run wide
           life-blood of all beings                  
                      at times surging, overflowing
                    
                     dry season shrinking,        
                         only a promise, but still there

till rainy season when again
                                   river returns

                  
Rivers run wide                      
                  lifeblood of all beings                    
                             at times frozen solid

celebrated when spring thaw arrives
                                          bringing together
                                                       a whole town
rivers run wide    
                   through jungles and forests
                                        through plains and
                                                          mountains               

rivers meet rivers
                 rivers meet sea
                            rivers meet sky

rivers run wide.

Inspired by Sally Bayan's "Rivers".  Thank you, Sally.

I remember...

shorts, barefeet and bare chest
crawdad fishing, bike riding
creek wading, rope swinging
and
flower picking

Wild gallops on the ponies

hide and seek among
(I can almost smell it)
sweet corn stalks

kick the can and tag
sitting under the apple tree
eating ("they'll make you sick")
green apples

fish fries, carnivals
and
strawberry socials

making ("my turn to crank")
homemade ice cream

thunderstorms
                     rainbows
                                             making mud pies

catching grasshoppers
and
fireflies

  staying up late
and
sleeping on the floor

evening drives
and
  honeysuckle

hours of make believe
running like the wind
and
freedom!

August

August comes
turns up the heat
August comes
with no relief

the summer air lays heavy
encasing all nearby earth
even fireflies' frolic
has turned to more a dirge

everything moves sluggishly
slowed to snail's pace
the languid cat's indifferent
to the moth
he'd earlier have chased

Augusr comes
turns up the heat
August comes
with no relief

Serenade

Sweet voices of the evening
delight of summertime
do you sing to make the sun rise?
or to make stars brightly shine?

enchanting summer concert
echoing all around
do fireflies keep your rhythm
as they dance and flit about?

do you usher in the dreamtime?
do you croon the flowers to sleep?
and

where is your song in winter?
does it rest in slumber deep?

Actually this year our beastly hot month was July, but **August** was written in another year and August/Summer is almost over so I left it.

the moon is hiding in
her hair.
The
lily
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down.

cover her briefness in singing
close her with the intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,

Recite
upon her
flesh
the rain’s

pearls singly-whispering.

the saying quaint is memory
I am surprised i remembered it
six almost long decades
since I tried to tell myself to never forget
how the  day is wonderfilled
we have sandboxes
beloved pets
steel toy cars and backyards
we explore like jungles
swings and naps
when life gets tiresome
amongst the sunrises and hours spent
getting acquainted
to this life
a sister who is nice
at times
and moms and dads
peaches and
cream
longings to grow up and see
everything
sidewalks leading to
we do not know where
just dream
they have sights unseen
deep down in the
grey of now the
hard to read story of those years
all are written down
archived
like bubblegum on a bedpost
sweetness of that first kiss
that recall
of  days
that are so malleable
just don't forget
or get all old

My father worked with a horse-plough,
His shoulders globed like a full sail strung
Between the shafts and the furrow.
The horse strained at his clicking tongue.

An expert. He would set the wing
And fit the bright steel-pointed sock.
The sod rolled over without breaking.
At the headrig, with a single pluck

Of reins, the sweating team turned round
And back into the land. His eye
Narrowed and angled at the ground,
Mapping the furrow exactly.

I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake,
Fell sometimes on the polished sod;
Sometimes he rode me on his back
Dipping and rising to his plod.

I wanted to grow up and plough,
To close one eye, stiffen my arm.
All I ever did was follow
In his broad shadow round the farm.

I was a nuisance, tripping, falling,
Yapping always. But today
It is my father who keeps stumbling
Behind me, and will not go away.

Discovering and re-discovering poems by some of my favorite poets.

A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before
me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
i o And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Silently.

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would kill him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

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