Water lines

Just as a line drawn on water with a stick
will quickly vanish and will not last long;
even so is human life

who can confute the Buddha’s words?
yet the line is redrawn as lineage
– each of of us withholds
the vanished, and with a stick stir memories
prod pictures, till they surface again and again
or quite spontaneously rise – across pond and puddle
where leaves or paper boats trail before a breeze
keels cut down deep and in their wake
forms are frothed and re-conjured
there at anchor the smaller craft rock a lullaby
dripping pretty painted profiles in the contours
and all along the overhangs of river and stream
riparian hosts trail and dip with constancy, as pen to ink,
these words I draw of you from water

‘Stirring memory with desire’ as Eliot says though it is not April but a cold winter Sunday and time to join others in the Poetry pantry


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