Wind on Water
Aneurin & Taliesen
The beaver pond, surface wind-ruffled, sparking
sunlight’s flint off grey, shaded edges of cresting waves,
silent ships, white clouds sailing in a sea-blue sky,
repeated below in mercurial waters, islands
the lily-pads, yellow with the clenched fists of flowers,
closed, screening themselves from this incessant sunshine.
Chirps of anonymous birds, hidden beneath branches,
no motes, no flies, the breeze too strong to tempt them,
fly-catchers in hiding, kingfishers cached away.
Only the great blue heron, regal, always hungry,
surveys his watery domain, patiently waiting,
yet ever-ready, disturbed, to launch into flight.
My fingers strain to capture this peace, to distill it
into words, to kidnap time, motion, scent, the gentle
touch of the wind’s paintbrush, delicate over cheeks.
Where now are the great men, Aneurin, Taliesin,
those bards who called up the salmon’s wisdom,
turning it into words, deep as ponds, subtle as streams?
They are the voices of the wilderness that once was Wales.
I am the distant echo of their song, distanced, estranged,
lost in New Brunswick’s woods, forgotten on Canadian trails.