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