Spanning the Waters — NaPoWriMo #18 the tiniest of rubaiyats

The river rushes between steep banks
Of pebble and mud, without a word of thanks
to the hips of the bridge that spans its width,
A single step over the joist, and she is over the water’s flanks.
The joists are solid under the flooring beneath her feet,
Though the wooden struts strain and moan in windy sleet,
what’s behind grows dim in the veil of ice
each step only forward, toward the voice of a future she’s yet to meet.



The Trouble with Dust — #NaPoWriMo5 — a golden shovel

(with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

Like wilderness everywhere, an urban desert lies just so
Constantly changing, but not by doing much
Its glowing watercolor sunrise depends
Bug-like, upon

The thickness of industry exhaust, a
long time ago, this city was red
with the blood of civilation’s wheel
that dug up the desert foxes’ barrow

Their eyes looked out and saw the glazed
tangles of steel with
eyes bright from dwindling rain
They walked down to the river only to find no water

The maquilas built the dam beside
The craggy cliffs and stones upriver, while the
Dusty limestone glistened white
All around the rancher’s wife’s chickens.


The Foreigner

Allow yourself
to accept
the touch of a stranger
for the compliment
it is.
Let chocolate and whiskey eyes
be reflected in mirrored
grey eyes, shallow
and changeable as a sandbar.
While tidal and endless,
you meet the Other at every turnstile;
travelling the same paths
or utterly different ones.
Allow yourself
to see
the stranger,
who is of the same cloth,
hiking off into the wild
that you have walked already —
known to you,
but unexplored.


[Note: I hadn’t really intended to write this; in fact the plan was to write about making 6-sided paper snowflakes. Maybe I’ll get the snowflakes out in a day or two.]



The “Two Boats” inspiration story

I bought a large print of the photo below for Mom (something like 21 x 31 inches) and had it framed at Christmas.  She liked it so well that she decided right away where to hang it, though it’s still not been hung. (I think she wants to paint that wall first. Maybe.) To be fair, it is sitting on the dresser below the target hanging zone where she can see it.

Then, she commissioned me to write a poem to go with the print.  I finally finished the “Two Boats” poem the week before I went to Texas to visit this summer.  You can find the final version of the poem below.

Two Boats by C. Patrick Neagle

C. Patrick Neagle’s other photos can be found at his zenfolio site:

I promise to make another shameless plug for Patrick’s work as soon as I figure out a few more technical details. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these two companion pieces. ~LD

Two Boats

Tied together in water and wood,
blood and bone,
this traveling party of warriors,
poets, water gypsies
now docked
and still in the surly sunset.
The skins once stretched
smooth around her bones
today reveal the lie
of the great grey slab
slung so calm and cool
across the circumference
of the glazed horizon.