The mountain stream runs from the rocks
that are its bed, that were its bed;
rappelling boulders, taking shocks,
to join rivers, flow by docks
forgetting what it’s fled.
The pebbles that the torrent shakes
tumble but hang back
content with being troubled wakes
the stream invites but never makes
disciples of. They sink. It slakes
its thirst for speed, and whirls in pools
the bird bathe in, the birds bathed in,
reflecting feathers like wet jewels
tarnished by a world of rules
smeared and muddied out of ken.
Swans nest near the broadening banks
the stream acquired, the stream acquires.
The stream marvels at the nesting ranks
of creatures sheltering on its flanks,
and wanderlust expires.
The stream remembers as mirage
the waterfalls, the waterfalls,
that were its birthright: bright collage
it traded in for arbitrage
and pulsing puts and calls
upon its force, once pristine stream
that dropped away, that dropped away
and falling, traded ice for steam
fleeing its primeval dream
until it lost its way.
The rock the river rolls away
that covered graves, that covers graves,
exposes emptiness today
and brings the river peace that way
among the waves, among the waves.