Double Take



The one who walks by water
risks more than drowning.
As sun ignites trees
on the far shore
gulls and whitecaps flashing,reckoning
he loses his footing
in this world.
Clouds proceed
solemn and sure of their way
as the fish beneath.
His eyes are drawn
along the shore
resting on a dune,
a sweep of pines,
the sun splintering red
in the west.
Now he knows the longing
of Moses or Gatsby–
some sign or light across the water,
some current strong enough
to take him back
to what he once knew so well.



Not in the drumming of rain
or the animal purr, the rustle of leaves.release
Not in the crackle of fire,
in the jangle of bells, the lap of the waves.
Not in the skip of stone across water,
the flapping of wings
or the cricket’s sweet saw.
But in the heavy human sigh,
a-rhythmic as dust–
surrender of breath to the open air–
the blessed letting go.



prophet Even at a distance you can recognize him.
His gait is odd—stubborn, a-rhythmic.
His face tilts upward—he is listening to some voice,
watching birds soar and wheel—
he makes some sense of this.
Face to face, he appears less man than scarecrow
propped up by supernatural force.
When his eyes fall into mine, sure of what they see,
I shudder in the pool of his gaze.
My heart pounds as he opens the wings of his mouth.
His words scuttle through my disbelief
like leaves from an ancient tree.


Sculptures by Ron Pederson.


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