What is it about bodies of water that pull our human bodies toward them for reflection and renewal?
I’m so happy to share with you, readers, this poem by Jeanine Stevens. I love, love, love it and I hope you do, too. Please breathe and enjoy.
by Jeanine Stevens
Trees drop shadows. Purple filters asparagus green.
Cool water barely moves,
yet the pond breathes sage: a gentle summer.
Hidden in the riparian belt near Arcade Creek,
bugs flit, skim circular.
Oxygen is here in the exhale of fish.
I sit cross-legged on the bottom, arms folded waiting
for thoughts I know will come:
the worry of a life resurrected,
my own tardiness. Each flaw
I morph into a silver minnow that swims in loops.
I’m patient until I weary of its motion, then encase
each in a bubble and release to the glassine surface.
I stand on the Salmon Falls Bridge.
Autumn wind spins the pines,
water cascades over boulders,
scatters stellar jays and mountain chickadees.
These are cool-season colors: bone clouds, pale sky
The air is pungent with late sun on dry buck-brush.
Upstream, a medium-size log tumbles in the current
Other birds land on the railing, also looking.
I absorb the logs agony, watch it travel underneath
steel girders, reappear and pause for my gaze.
Enough introspection: it disappears downstream.
Near Goat Rock on the Sonoma Coast, my skin sticks
with salt spray and yellow sand.
Surf roars, soaking up speech. White foam laps knees,
bronze kelp, slimy and wet, hugs my body.
A brown pelican glides overhead, drops its lunch near
my feet, a fish chunk oozing pink gills.
Mid-winter, I brought all my concerns with me.
A gray gull harps the wind.
Her angle of flight spirals, embeds in my repetitious
monkey mind, a century familiar
yet temporal— like fish breath and catapulting log,
this gull, so ordinary, exits
behind a twisted cypress hugging the cliff.
Jeanine Stevens spends her time writing poetry, constructing collages, practicing Tai Chi and thinking about water.