Tracing the new shore

Rise cold water,
rise to the knees, to the hands, to the belly;
rise and envelop the body.

What does the body feel? Cold.
beloved body, beloved cold
What does the body fear? Death.
beloved fear, beloved death
Are we ready? No, we are not ready.

We are not ready but the water rises.
beloved teacher, beloved messenger, beloved symbiont
Answer with a shaky laugh as the initiatory water rises:
yes! we are not ready!
Whatever to come asks we not be ready.

Across the threshold mind-body unfurl:
Not hand but sprouts around the stump,
not eye but lightless antichthon,
not tooth but arc of luminous spiral;
not flesh but deepest muck.

Not breath but a knot in the air,
no life but amidst death,
not death but a body of cold water.

Prepare the mineral bowl:
Cast the circle, flood the center,
follow circumference until
a subtle harmonic rises
oblique to the wind.

Loose the knot,
hold strands amid sprouts
dancing in the wind
— swim through

mother, is that you?
yes my child, it is me.

A close up black and white photograph of a stream in strong sunlight. Light is refracted through the rippled surface and illuminates the sand and pebble bed. The bottom half of the frame is light and the top is dark, with dappled pebbles in between.

That’s my letter to you this month — a poem to conclude what turned out to be a three-faced conversation with this strangest of springs. (You can read the first two letters here and here.) But conversations never really end, do they? Mercifully no, especially with poems, who wander off into the trees only to reemerge in echoing birdsong once the leaves have unfurled. Just ask hermit thrush. On that note:

Taking the auspices

We continue our loose, far-flung divinatory experiment, in which you readers (you there!) reply to a simple question: what do you see or hear or feel around you right now? What gestures are unfolding in the land? Just a few words about something pretty or puzzling will do, in whatever style feels groovy, or no style at all. I’ll credit you by name or pseudonym (whichever you prefer).

Here are the replies that arrived over the course of May:

Plunking twangs flick and echo on wood
Chirping chits chat and vibrate on glass

— Hugh M. N., Gallery of Refraction

Crane Gazer, Glacial Glade
— Still Here, Late Quaternary

a day of rain
the plants stretching
the robin wins the battle
life moves to the beat of the droplets

— Under Eaves, Looking Glass River

fleeting, and only in the sunniest spots,
brief scents of dust and warmed needles
it’s coming

— L, Boardman Lake

Please send yours along! You can just drop them here. Until next month, keep the conversation going, and consider venturing into the cold water.