by Cally Conan-Davies
Beyond my door is a stream I sit beside
and consider the lastingness of things
—rubber soles, for instance, and woollen socks,
a glass bottle, a foam cup, a knot of fishing line—
things that get caught up in the stream.
The hills sharpen the shriek of the owl
and one thought tears away
like a hound into the wind:
men must give a mind
to earth's own laws. I've seen
her body of fresh water
glaze the dark roots of her weedy banks,
her luxury of flowing downstream not locked in
to anything but pouring and falling down; her lowly law:
to round the shape of everything she meets.
She sings syllabically. She looks troubled.
She is and she isn't. Doing her cold work
she streams. She won't go quietly
because the quality of water is not just
locked in. It is fluidity and partner to the wind.
She is what comes from broken stones,
she won't be silent. She is water-talk
from a clouded mountain thrown down on her
and from the weight of this history
she can improvise a trickle in the dust.
She is last and thirst, her religion is open to life.
She puts her money on the ground and sees it gone.
She is the bend in the spear grass. She gives
her light to irises. She stands
in the poppies where a battlefield was.
By otter and crow, these are the faithful facts.
The stream flows even past the span of stone and heron.
She is the engine drinking in every moment,
clear, and charged, and overlapping,
and making things green where she passes
streaming . . .
Cally Conan-Davies is a writer who lives by the sea.
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