ON THE RIVER: A DREAM (Part 2)
It was not long till I was around the first bend
And I thought of the old man and his warnings
If you could really call them warnings
I wondered if he envied me
This freedom to float with the current, fearless and strong
That was not clear from his words or his face or tone of voice
Only that he knew more than I knew
And that he knew that what he knew I could not know.
But I decided not to worry about what the old man knew
I knew somehow that this river was my river and that
Whatever I might encounter down the stream
Would wake in me me something like a memory
And I would know what to do.
And as I drifted every bend in the stream and every shoal and sluice,
Every deep run was new to me and yet known to me
And I felt like an explorer and yet felt at home.
I burned with the green of the trees, the red and yellow of the wildflowers
The blue, clear blue of the stream.
And I yearned, moment by moment, to see beyond the next bend
The next world that would be opened to me.
As I floated and as the water seethed around the ancient stones
of the riverbed
I heard new music that was my own and I had an urge
to write it down, even though I could not write music.
I heard it plain as day, and it would have astounded the world
And changed the fate of the nations
And it vanished never to be remembered.
And then I saw the bird on the bare birch trunk
Looking out of place, as the old man had said.
It roosted there in the bright sunlight
Watching me, as if it knew what the old man knew
And I did not know
And the Green Heron knew that I did not know.