A poem in our talking

by little red pen

I met with a friend today, and we talked, and talked, and talked. Of estuaries and words, of identity and relationships and what it is to make meaning in Treaty work. Of salt water and fresh, of holding true to the murkiness of an unsettled time.

And then I came home and dug out this old poem that I’ve been carrying around for some ten years now. And I think I may finally have finished the damn thing.

Harbour Poem

Down where the water
touches rock
a heron picks
its delicate line
between the blue and grey
of a clean
unfolding day;

dipping into the rhythm
of its withholding walk
with the soft-footed grace
found inside clocks, the held breath
of moonlit hallways, the hesitance
when rain begins;

the hollow as a decision turns
a slow circle
in the curve of an unmade moment.

Ships slip to port
and back, peripheral
as the tide
while you dream of birds
and flight through empty time,
your body shed
for feather and air.

And later

with the day worn on
and everything still unknown
the sea eases
to a washed and lustred green,
as old as the stone you hold
and turn
and turn
and turn
a small anchor in the night.