May 31, 2011

Rio Chama

At mile marker six, I spot a raft
hung up, abandoned.
Its gray ends flapping
against the current
like a sweating dog's tongue.

The wind is my only external companion
as I try to remember how to use
all the 24 gears
at my disposal.

Other cars,
most loaded with rafts
overtake me or meet me on the road,
but the SUV with the two kids
waving at me out their back window--
a mixture of awe and revery
strikes me as entirely fitting.

There's so many adjectives that I could use,
and I could load a sentence down with metaphors
yet only create something that while new,
neither adequately describes this area
or soars enough off the page
to make these words more than merely
evocative or imitative.

Words, despite the pretense and lie
of insisting they were the beginning
are just our way of understanding,
piercing our perception of reality
and making it make sense.

If our awakening consciousness
was the "word,"
then the sentence,
the poem--
was "good."

Yet the world that it described was better still
and it was always there
inspiring consciousness
to define it,
and applauding it
and saying, "Almost, but not quite."

May 28, 2011

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