Friday, December 7, 2007

White Water Bend


Down by the creek, under trees,
where foam washes a green sound
over gray stones
in the undiscovered country,
I cannot stop thinking
of wheel ruts up the road—
always the same road—
of concrete cracked with dark veins
threaded through the years
in front of the feed store—
always the same store—
where I swing sweet oats
over a sour shoulder
that turns toward sunset
and a wagonload that rocks my bones
farther down the ruts to death.

But the rushing water—this water—
never sings the same note twice.
The finch catching fire
in the poplar above the canopy
tells me that all rivers marry the sea.
I have been single and sour too long.
No life should know the imprint of a road
well enough to travel by Braille.

I taste the white water.
Vines threaded through woods
are alive and supple,
veins connected to some underground heart
that is now my own heart—
not the same heart.

With the sweet smell of a bride in the air,
there is no turning back.
I will marry the sea.
I am a green sound
washing over gray stones.

Copyright, William Hammett, 1999. First Published in POEM, a journal of the Hunstville Literary Association.

14 comments:

Bernita said...

This is lovely, Billy!

Billy said...

Thanks, Bernita. It had a kind of halting rhythm when I wrote it, but it seemed to work.

Wayne said...

It's beautiful. I can feel the rushing all the way over here.

Shameless said...

Nice, Billy. Marrying nature! I really like the unusual turns of phrase and the words you've chosen to paint the scene. :-)

Billy said...

Wayne, thanks as always for your support.

Seamus, if I marry nature, should I sign a pre-nup? :)

Scott from Oregon said...

Can you imagine paying Nature's progeny in child support payments?

Shesawriter said...

Billy,

This is my favorite part:

"With the sweet smell of a bride in the air, there is no turning back.
I will marry the sea."

Simply beautiful. :-)

Billy said...

Thank you, Shesa. You should be my poetry agent :)

Scott, Mother Earth is pretty huge (by our standards). I wouldn't want to pay child support to her progeny. Of course I had a good lawyer when I got divorced. My ex paid ME ROFL.

jason evans said...

I think it's nice that you are letting these poems live again.

Thanks for letting us experience them, when the passage of time would otherwise leave them buried.

Billy said...

You're welcome Jason. It's better than letting the old journals/poems sit in my closet and gather dust. I'd love to put out a collection, but I never seem to have the time to get organize them by style or theme that could hold generate a title for the collection. One of these days ...

Billy said...

LOL. Let's try that sentence again: I'd love to put out a collection, but I never seem to have the time to organize them by style or theme that could generate a title for the collection. One of these days ...

Wayne said...

Billy, I've been talking behind your back! HERE.

Billy said...

I have claimed my lion and put it proudly in the sidebar! Thanks again, kind sir!

Sarah Hina said...

The ruts of a well-worn life being washed away. And a moving sacrifice. The last two stanzas, in particular, gave me a shiver. I could taste the spray.

So glad I found your blog, Billy! I feel like I've stumbled across a treasure trove. :)