Caraganas grow wild along this river.
A transverse tangle of stocks and stems,
their yellow flowers, somewhere within,
ache for bees.
Through this forest of crosses,
high, rolling brown water, pulls grasses
from banks, carries unclasped earth
from day-long rains, a reluctant log, a tire,
a box, the urine of children and beer drinkers.
How many rains and temporal streams
has this river seen? Its bottom scoured by
drifting rock and car bodies, its banks
scooped by ice and water-born grit
and still it dreams of delta moons.
And was there ever a point to the page-wire
around the base of this black poplar tree?
It has bitten its years into the dark
mountain ranges of bark.
Once, perhaps protected, then disciplined,
the tree now spends its leaves and limbs
to free itself.
Yesterday I listened to the strains
of a worship song, sung with trussed-up vigour;
its refrain of atoning blood,
for the satisfaction of divine wrath,
binding hearts and limbs
to the oldest code,
obscuring the older
law of love.