Sunday, August 01, 2010

Something Else Climbs...

Photo by Katy Brown, Davis

Water is always the same—
Obedient to the laws
That move the sun and the other
Stars. In Japan as in
California it falls
Through the steep mountain valleys
Towards the sea. Waterfalls drop
Long musical ribbons from
The high rocks where temples perch.
Ayu in the current poise
And shift between the stones
At the edge of the bubbles.
White dwarf iris heavy with
Perfume hang over the brink.
Cedars and cypresses climb
The hillsides. Something else climbs.
Something moves reciprocally
To the tumbling water.
It ascends the rapids,
The torrents, the waterfalls,
To the last high springs.
It disperses and climbs the rain.
You cannot see it or feel it.
But if you sit by the pool
Below the waterfall, full
Of calling voices all chanting
In a turmoil of peace,
It communicates itself.
It speaks in the molecules
Of your blood, in the pauses
Between your breathing. Water
Flows around and over all
Obstacles, always seeking
The lowest place. Equal and
Opposite, action and reaction,
An invisible light swarms
Upward without effort. But
Nothing can stop it. No one
Can see it. Over and around
Whatever stands in the way,
Blazing infinitesimals—
Up and out—a radiation
Into the empty darkness
Between the stars.

—Kenneth Rexroth