Perceptions: Poems from on the road.

The Columbia

Just wind, just wind.

translucent stratus-spotted sky

reflected in the wrong way white caps 

of the mighty Columbia.

Just wind, just wind,

clean scentless rushing in

through the pores, flushing out

the debris of fires, Covid and elections.

Just wind, mighty tropical storm force wind

with no rain, no blowing dirt, just sky

blowing through the indian paintbrush

who dance like octopus arms in play.

Just wind, powerful unthreatening wind

knocking me to the ground

tumbling over me like boulders landsliding

breaking the bones of habituated thoughts.

Just wind, relentless wind 

beach grass laughing in terror

like children on a rollercoaster

“Again, again again!”

Just wind, my wind, I want to own it

to name it for me, to be it; 

unaided, unabetted, unapologetic

known, remembered, and forgotten in the same instant.

Just wind, sky chariot carrying me

Lifting me out of absorbed selfness

shattering shackles of the three times

unforming, unregressing, uncreating, unending.

_________________________________________________

The Tieton

Sometimes the River surprises

In the middle of the spike of a summer day 

That is baking the emergent flat boulders

When it sends a soft, mossy breath of cool affection.

Sometimes it rattles the visual perception 

Out of its habitual normalcy

Shaking loose blind focus

Opening an expansive circumspherical view.

Sometimes it dulls its persistent, insistent growl

Fighting with itself to reach the sea

Crafting its personality in the remnants of mountains

Leaving space for something old that is new now.

Sometimes the lasering sun reflections that burn the retinas

And leave permanent and shadow impressions;

That obscure simple seeing with winceful pain, 

Offer an easeful invitation to penetrate assumptions about the nature.

Sometimes in the quietest of the middle evening pitch,

Where the rapid roar becomes a drone

And the accompanists of all beings rest,

It trembles the bones through the tympanic bank and shore leaving me undone.

Sometimes the River 

Surprises

Rattles

Dulls,

Burns

Trembles 

me 

toward freedom.

The NachesSometimes the River surprisesIn the middle of the spike of a summer day That is baking the emergent flat bouldersWhen it sends a soft, mossy breath of cool affection.Sometimes it rattles the visual perception Out of its habitual normalcyShaking loose blind focusOpening an expansive circumspherical view.Sometimes it dulls its persistent, insistent growlFighting with itself to reach the seaCrafting its personality in the remnants of mountainsLeaving space for something old that is new now.Sometimes the lasering sun reflections that burn the retinasAnd leave permanent and shadow impressions;That obscure simple seeing with winceful pain, Offer an easeful invitation to penetrate assumptions about the nature.Sometimes in the quietest of the middle evening pitch,Where the rapid roar becomes a droneAnd the accompanists of all beings rest,It trembles the bones through the tympanic bank and shore leaving me undone.Sometimes the River SurprisesRattlesDulls,BurnsTrembles me toward freedom.

Posted by William Gentner on Saturday, August 22, 2020