Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The Angel of the Rushing Waters


 I have seen you as a purple bruise in a yellow sky,

as a Scottish soldier with drawn sword

at the edge of the tame land and the wild wood,

as a snowy owl with fierce talons and fiercer eyes

as an Indian death-lord traveling abroad

in a Johnny Cash outfit, swinging a lasso.


I have felt you enter as a gentle breeze

stirring the curtains of a window in a hospital room,

and in the raw, thrusting horse-power

of the dark lord bursting into the sunlit maiden meadow.


You are a sexy devil.

I love you better than your brother Sleep.

Through aching nights of absence

I have longed for your embrace.


I have run your errands,

speaking in your voice to the old golfer on the plane,

negotiating with your razor-sharp precision

the terms for a possible life extension.

I have taken ailing humans by the hand

to your deep pools, to find you – if they dare –

in the troubling of the waters.


Few can look into your black sun

but those who do are different.

To know you, to walk with you,

to feel you always at the left shoulder

brings courage and October light.


You love to dress for occasions.

I have encountered you as a dandy in evening dress,

as a red Irish big-bellied god, and an Indian flame,

and a white lady whose footsteps are frost.

Your image is rarely in public places

though the medieval mind, like the mind of Mexico,

puts skeletal reminders of you at every turning,

mocking the vanities of the world.


On our wedding day

I want you to reach down in your robe of stars

and catch me in your voluptuous embrace

as we leave my old garment in the blanket of earth.

But if you choose not to come in your goddess form

I want you to be wearing my face.

This poem is published in my collection Here, Everything Is Dreaming: Poems and Stories by Robert Moss (Excelsior Editions). 

Art: "Swan on a Black Sea" by Robert Moss



Robin Blackburn McBride said...

Gorgeous poetry, Robert. I've just purchased a copy of Here, Everything is Dreaming. Thank you.

Fred Jeremy Seligson said...

Stunning poem. Perfect ending.