In the valley, the hours drift slowly by,
unmarked but for the passing of the sun.
New-hatched flotillas of Water Boatmen
scud like Roman galleys over the pool,
locked in a constant, swirling free-for-all,
the vanquished swept away by the current
into the mouths of waiting trout below.
Pinprick beads of sweat trickle down my neck
as I bathe my feet and doze in the heat.
A pair of indigo-stained demoiselles
dance a sarabande at the water’s edge
while solitary dragonflies sunbathe,
glittering wings outstretched, on the bare rocks,
a necklace of priceless jewels on the shore.
High above the mountain, an eagle soars;
dark shadows tumble down the valley wall.
Butterflies flit to and fro seeking mates;
Swallowtails and smaller Clouded Yellows,
Painted Ladies and White Fritillaries
grace this vale with their short and precious lives
as I sit, rooted – tree-like – to the spot.
The long afternoon slips through my fingers
like a handful of water from the stream.
And who am I that watches all of this?
I am no more than these, nor any less perhaps,
a fellow creature, sprung from the world soul,
grateful for my time on earth, knowing that one day
the river will rise up and sweep us all away.
Sant Aniol, Catalonia
23 July 2017
This is really beautiful, and evocative, Geoff ………thank you!
Reminds me of various Buddhist Retreats (at Cortijo Romero)……also of 2 experiences I had whilst sitting in the sand dunes at West Wittering….midsummer solstice….10pm sunset…..it had been a busy day, and the sand was chaotic with hundreds of footprints…..in the space of an hour, a sunset breeze had returned the sand to virgin rills and ripples, backlit by the horizontal glowing last sunrays, and my reluctant footsteps became the only tracks in the desert landscape………
On another occasion there, surrounded by a semicircle of 60-odd old wooden sea-defences, it struck me that they were like ancestors…..excerpt below from a poem I wrote…..Sue Shorter
Sixty-odd staves, stakes, knaves, posts, stumps,
Ghostly tops of fences, sea defences
Ancestors ….a benign crescent…..
Echoes of a homesick Roman matron, coaxing lavender,
Viking Valhalla, Pterodactyl Woman….
Universal African Mother….
Did a Tudor mascot pageboy bequeath
Seagreen eyes, freckles,
hair that goes wavy in the rain?
Ancestors, past lives, who can say?
They trod the path.
We honour them today……
Beautiful Sue, thank you…