in the beginning

was apparent death chaos loss
of everything yet i stepped through
my mother’s ghost to a timeless realm to
a truth just beyond the veil of appearances
where somehow i was always held
and in this moment still am being healed

i felt it most strongly at first
beneath a warm green Ozark lake
8 years old i dove fearlessly deep
trusting the capacity of my breath
the mammalian instinct to slow the heart
to glide fluidly through the caress
of soft sun-bladed living water

other times i was alone in the trees
a clear brook wound through mossy cedar
disappeared beneath a tangled web of roots
and emerged again into a channel

a startling slap of beaver tail

further up an otter gliding peered up
briefly as he sinuously rolled
both of us planning trout for dinner

the wind rustles its way through tall grass
glinting sunlight ripples along wavelets
a current of light broadens onto a vast lake
not visited by man for months the ducks
explode into flashing flight hundreds of them

all of this is real, all happening now
i breathe with all of life in ascending hues
its exuberant expression washes through me
and in every aware moment i am reborn

this is real, all happening now
i love the ache of lungs as light approaches
the transition from water into sky
the dazzling droplets flung in celebration
for this indrawn breath of miraculous new life

©John Greenleaf-Maple – text and art 20190112

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