Thursday, July 26, 2018

we stir a pot, and. . .

the creek as torrent

in the mountains a creek has many moods
and can tell you much of what’s happening to the forest
in how low or high it is,

just before the Great Fire, 
drought had strangled off the flow of water to the woods,
the creek was as low and reduced as I’ve ever seen it,
presaging how tinder dry was the forest,

this summer rains have come and gone, and come again,
enough to keep the creek healthy and the forest growing,
a little spitting rain sweeps in around us,
and I hear thunder up on the mountain,
distant, like news from the Middle East
that doesn’t really touch me,
a storm must have settled on the slopes above us
for the creek comes up, roaring
as high as I’ve ever seen it,

huge quantities of water race down the mountain
as if furious, in a rage,
ready to sweep all before it,
if I were to fall in,
I would have only moments of life left,

logs sweep down the valley,
large rocks carried along,
we can hear and feel them crashing into stream bed stone,
muffled thuds of sculpting,
the slope steep enough to hurry the anger along,
the bed deep enough to hold the creek away from houses,
the color of the browning torrent shades I’ve never seen before,

how many extreme events do we need to wake us up
to know our actions stir a pot,
and we can’t know for sure what we’ll be served.

by Henry H. Walker
July 24, ‘18

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