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    oak leaf floating in water


    By Jane Clark Scharl

    July 23, 2020
    • Tom Crotty

      Thank-you for this verse that touches mind and heart. During this time of COVID-19 I love considering with the poet our frequent image of God as the distracted irrigation manager--please, Lord, turn off the valve! We've had enough! Then turning with the poet, even in these bleak seeming times, to an alternate image of God and grace not as a cosmic manager but as the water, wild and not to be contained, as a "swift-loosed flood, a selfless rush" overflowing in our midst if we only have eyes, with the poet, to see. Thank-you again.

    • Conrad Goodwin

      This is a fantastic piece of water poetry! It brings to mind some of the imagery found in "Hind's Feet on High Places". Cheers from Puerto Octay.

    Somewhere up the street, out of sight, someone
    has left the irrigation siphon open again.

    Now, far down, I dip my hand in the stream
    and press my palm flat against the concrete gutter.

    The water tugs cool and dark on my forearm,
    and through it I see my fingers flecked with light,

    sand swept along and sifting through them.
    A dry leaf bobs past, clinging so completely

    to the water’s skin that its top is entirely dry; it rises
    seamlessly around the solitary mountain

    island that is my wrist, ascending.
    I think of the irrigation manager somewhere

    up the street, distracted – chatting with a neighbor,
    having a smoke, or simply absorbed

    in watching what he has released: the play of light
    on ripples, roving deep in the bottomless dark

    water at the mouth of the siphon – and I wonder
    if it is better to think of the Creator as like him, or as more

    like this swift-loosed flood, a selfless rush bubbling
    up irretrievably to overflow.

    Contributed By JaneClarkScharl Jane Clark Scharl

    Jane Clark Scharl is a poet and critic. Her poetry has appeared in many American and European outlets, including the BBC, the Hopkins Review, the New Ohio Review, the American Journal of Poetry, the Lamp, Measure Review, and others.

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