Friday, April 28, 2017

Columbia River Octets (for Sandy)

Phenomenological Columbia River Double Octet

the single green houseboat moored at the pier’s end,
a bicycle hanging on the bowside wall

knows something singular about the water—
the one cormorant stretching dark wings into

sun & wind from its driftwood perch knew something
deep about the ripples before we walked through

this blue afternoon not exactly the same
as blue under the boat’s keel, in the bird’s eye

sparrows in these hedges stay invisible
though leaves sing, perhaps not because cumulus

clouds drift across the sky blue sky sky reflecting
the river’s flotilla of moored sailboats—what’s

above also being below—river’s salt breath, wind
off the iris slope of Larch Mountain & you

kneeling to catch the imaginary scent
of white rhododendrons mingling with our breath


Columbia River Morning Octet

sky & river both from a black & white film:
stratus clouds, the slategray current, that same flock

of mergansers set adrift, the cormorant
erupting off the water, one song sparrow

perched on the juniper with nothing to say,
a pair of mallards floating across the pier’s

reflection, the crow, a twig clasped in its beak,
flies to the cedar to nest as if it knew

Jack Hayes
© 2017

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