Archive for April 23rd, 2009

In the Middle of the Watershed

written at Nose Mountain Firelookout

I sit on a rogue boulder

high on Alberta slopes

reading Gary Snyder.

My mind in Rocky mountains,

I watch blue glaciers blanketed with toxaphene

running away from the heat.

I reflect on the silvery river below

mirror of change,

I turn north, my eye to swollen river sea mouth

where floating whales blow toxic through spouts.

Oh weaving licentious river

all the dirt slides down your logged slopes–

I face west, where trout jump through rainbows

then disappear in silent oil-drilling mud spill.

Eagles circle eyeing the thirsty river–

mind of twisting waters,

I turn east, my ear on stream waves

underground explosions of Westbank Water Wars

man’s globe is leaking, no neutral benedictions.

Oh mind of filtering

bones and eggs in foamy wet pools,

I face south, with SPF 306 sunblock on skin

no potions for mutant three-legged frogs.

Holy mind of dwindling rivers

in multi-mega industrial watershed —

God they’re opening up the country

while closing down our ancient minds.

Look, we are the frogs, the whales, the eagles

we claim spawnage from ice age flows,

We are warm-blooded Canadian Nobel Laureate trout

taking the river to an unmade bed.

Vivian Demuth is the author of the poetry chapbook, Breathing Nose Mountain, and the novel, Eyes of the Forest. Her poetry has been published in Canada, Europe, Mexico and the United States. She hosts an annual Poetry on the Peaks event at a mountain firelookout where she works.  www.viviandemuth.wordpress.com


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