The River

A step taken, and all the world’s before me.
The night’s so clear

stars hang in the low branches,
small fires riding through the waves of a thin atmosphere,

islands parting tides as meteors burn the air.
Oysters powder to chalk in my hands.

A flying fox swims by and an early
memory unfolds: rocks

on the shoreline milling the star-fire.
its fragments fall into place, the heavens

revealing themselves
as my roots trail

deep nets between channel and
shoal, gathering in

the Milky Way, Gemini –
I look all about, I search all around me.

There’s a gale in my hair as the mountains move in.
I drift over lakes, through surf breaks

and valleys, entangled of trees –
unseemly? On the edge or place inverted

from Ocean starts another place,
its own place –

a step back and my love’s before me,
the memory ash – we face each other alone now,

we turn in the rushing tide again and again to each other,
here between swamp-flower and star

to let love go forth to the world’s end
to set our lives at the centre

though the tide turns the river back on itself
and at its mouth, Ocean.

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