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(picture of pond - JPG resource)

Silent transparencies of tree and sky by day
glint, mirrored darkly perfect on quiet pond,
Images of other worlds, in a layered kind of way.
A fallen leaf floats atop the water,
A sunken log intersects the surface world,
Protruding from yesteryear into presence here today.

Below the floating golden leaf lies a pond record of time,
Sunken autumn leaves stain orange brown its sand
For pond life never sleeps and the sun's shafts shatter
even to the bottom bed of decaying organic matter,
glistening mica on swirled brown and yellow band,
A silt-dusted Japanese rock garden, designed as nature planned.

Watching rays of sunlight filtered through the forest sieve
It is easy to suppose the past is out there somewhere far beyond,
thousands of miles alone in time, secure in other island universes,
disconnected from recollections mere presence here coerces.
Easy to say memories have laughter still and lives yet to live,
like forests of long ago, and pleasure and purpose to give
Existence apart from conjecture far past this meadow and pond.

How idle,

staring at the refraction of the fallen tree,

Aimed true at the heart of the pond,

A bark-stripped bronze shaft submerging to debris

Under blue reflections, filmy screens of gossamer sky.

No use wondering if they remember this place, this pond
of places and memories. One can be happy with what will be,
having shared those times long gone away. No use to say
an echo of laughter rings true through the woods today
But something still outlasts carved initials in sunken tree.

A water boatman skates on a meniscus, then glides,
drifting gently with the breeze. The image of its motion
dispels this thought; Enough to say it was time well spared.
Life is gorgeously rich, a complex and resplendent potion,
as its water, its critters, and the trees beyond;
Like those things which we might once have shared,
Enduring beyond reflective flashes of times long past,
A pond, a place, a living memory fleetingly bared
of that which was and is, becoming what will be at last.


© Alex Forbes, La Parola February 1993


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