Rudderless, slipping, sliding, gliding,
Over shallow, deep, and hallowed
Wedded lakes. Creek-chains binding,
Winding, whittling ways between
The sumac, cedar, pine.
My paddle dips and tallies,
Through nature’s splendid alleys
Oh sweet intoxication of forest wine!
Perch dart into black deep, while
Blackbirds perch on narrow reed.
A Sandhill’s guttural trumpetting stutter
Abruptly commands our heed.
Smooth rocks set upon a log
Twitch and dive at our approach,
While whorls of silt spontaneous appear
In the trail of some aquatic ghost.
How steep the slope beneath these waters,
That in one boat’s length disappears!
Mysterious plant life rises treelike –
Tall, subsurface trees that seem
to reach up out of the dark abyss
over which we appear to fly
as flying overhead the Sandhill may,
deceived by the reflecting surface sky
(save the tremblings outward from our bows)
Imagine that she swims.