The Innisfree Poetry Journal
www.innisfreepoetry.org

by Judith McCombs


TURTLE POND, CRAB-APPLES IN BLOOM

Why do we find it so easy
to welcome the greening and flowering
forced out of hiding each year,
but watch with unease the grappling
clawed feet and helmet-like shells
tilted belly to belly and gently,
forcibly rocking the waters
of their petal-strewn pond?

     Who designed this
slow-motion combat, this primeval
embrace? Why the pale snake neck
arching for air, flopping over,
wounded or spent? and the other's head
lifting from the center of ripples,
wordlessly hissing? Pulled
and repelled, we look elsewhere, trade stories
of sharp beaks slicing into the soft
duckling or swimmer.
     Mysterious
and unbeautiful, souls hidden
by shells, the air-breathers rest
side by side in the quieted waters.
But soon they're at it again,
this antediluvian display
and testing of power that is nearer,
much nearer, to our sort of clasping
and grappling than all the petals
that ever there were, floating
like down on this apple-flanked pond.


ROCK, WATER, ROOT: A SHORT HISTORY

Rock blocked water:

Water fought rock.

***

Water brought root:

Rock lodged root.

***

Root caught water:

Root broke rock.

***

Water naught.

Root stopped.

Rock.


Copyright 2006-7 by Cook Communication