Tuesday, July 9, 2013

River Under the Trees (Gauguin)


On low descending stairs, the river steps
Past pebbles and deadfall, seeking the end.
The trees watch -- silent, impassive adepts --
Unmindful of what lies beyond the bend.
I've tossed the fly a hundred thousand times
This afternoon and have not raised a trout,
Though I see them, shadows beneath the pines,
Elusive as a vaguely recalled doubt.
A pileated woodpecker alights
On a dead tree, plants himself, and, ripping
At an oblong hole, flings wood left and right -- 
All those scrambling ants he is sipping.
I leave the river before he's flown off,
My creel empty, my mind rasped and rough.