Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Joy's Trick


At the alder-darkened brink 
Where the stream slows to a lucid jet 
I lean to the water, dinting its top with sweat, 
And see, before I can drink, 

A startled inchling trout 
Of spotted near-transparency, 
Trawling a shadow solider than he. 
He swerves now, darting out 

To where, in a flicked slew 
Of sparks and glittering silt, he weaves 
Through stream-bed rocks, disturbing foundered leaves, 
And butts then out of view 

Beneath a sliding glass 
Crazed by the skimming of a brace 
Of burnished dragon-flies across its face, 
In which deep cloudlets pass 

And a white precipice 
Of mirrored birch-trees plunges down 
Toward where the azures of the zenith drown. 
How shall I drink all this? 

Joy’s trick is to supply 
Dry lips with what can cool and slake, 
Leaving them dumbstruck also with an ache 
Nothing can satisfy. 


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